The mining industry is known for its rough terrain, rugged equipment and the impact it has on the environment and its people. When a mining facility is faced with environmental impacts, it usually includes the loss of biodiversity, soil erosion and the contamination of surface water, groundwater and soil. But the industry is also known for its high standards put in place for the overall health and safety of people and the environment it is operating in..
Mines are large in size and covers thousands of hectares of ground, and therefore the bulk storage of equipment and products are key to ensure the longevity of the operations on a mine. Unnecessary breakdown of equipment, lack of resources and poor planning can cost a mine millions of Rands.
Fuel storage tanks and refuelling facilities are usually at the top of the list of deliberations when planning bulk storage facilities. The most important factor to consider during the planning phase is the actual design and the maintenance of appropriate tanks with retaining walls and other devices in order to contain the products stored and to avoid potential leaks and spills.
These storage tank facilities are usually reliable and safe but are impervious to neglect. Regular tank inspections and testing of equipment is essential to avoid a major environmental catastrophe
Immediate Causes of Accidents
Poor maintenance of these bulk facilities can cause a number of equipment failures that can be detrimental to the storage facility and the mine in its entirety Poor maintenance can also have a significant impact on the environment as well as the impact of human lives on site.
The immediate causes of accidents due to poor maintenance can include the following:
- Operational Errors
- Equipment or Instrument Failures
- Electrical Issues
- Maintenance Errors
- Environmental contamination
- Safety support system errors
All of the above-mentioned causes of accidents, can result in a mining facility being shut down for a period of time or indefinitely depending on the severity of the accidents or incidents caused.
The result of such a shut down can lead to:
- Financial Penalties against the mining facility
- Civil cases in the case of loss of lives
- Loss of revenue
- Complete closure of the mine
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