Fertilizer is a fuel that feeds agriculture, and potash (potassium chloride) is a central ingredient in fertilizer. So much so that 95% of all potash produced is used to manufacture fertilizer despite its utility for soap, glass, pharmaceuticals, water conditioners, and other products.
The use of oil as a fuel is, of course, well known. Yet, even if every vehicle running on gasoline converted to electricity tomorrow, oil demand would still be robust for use in plastics, fabrics, lubricants, construction materials, printer inks, agrochemicals…the list goes on and on.
As the world’s number one producer of potash and number four oil supplier, Canada plays a leading role in the global economy. Here at home, it is essential that workers in the hazardous occupations of potash and oil sands mining are appropriately safeguarded. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) comes immediately to mind. What cannot be overlooked, however, is fall protection equipment.
Whether a single belt system or labyrinth of miles, surface and underground conveyors transport raw materials from the mines to the next stage for processing. Risks include accidents from working near, inspecting, adjusting, or maintaining conveyor belts.
Mine operators should ensure that guardrails are installed to prevent contact between miners and any moving parts of a conveyor, including rollers, head, and tail areas. Pipe-fitted, modular steel safety railing systems provide strength and durability, worker protection, and the flexibility to reconfigure the guardrails when needed.