Gold Mining: Health and Environmental Risk Prevention


Gold miners have reported health problems in Australia, North America, South America, and Africa. Miners who amalgamated and extracted gold with elemental mercury were significantly polluted with mercury. 

Mercury concentrations in the air, fish food, hair, urine, blood, and other tissues of people exposed to mercury at work surpassed all limits recommended by several national and international regulatory authorities for human health protection. 

However, there was no large-scale epidemiological evidence of serious mercury-related health concerns in this population.

The Pervasive Problems of Gold Mining 

Gold exploration or mining is one of the most environmentally damaging businesses. It has the potential to displace populations, taint drinking water, harm workers, and damage natural habitats. It pollutes water and soil with mercury and cyanide, putting people’s health and ecosystems at risk. Gold manufacture for a single wedding ring generates 20 tons of waste.

Impacts on the Environment:

  • Contaminated Waters 
  • Solid Waste 
  • Endangered Natural Areas

Impacts on the Community:

  • Economic Consequences 
  • Endangered Communities 
  • Free Prior and Informed Consent 
  • Human Rights Violations 
  • Toll on Indigenous Peoples 
  • Women’s Rights and Safety

The Importance of Mine Safety and How to Implement It

In terms of worker safety, the mining sector poses particular concerns. Mine safety is achieved by identifying and reducing dangers, including environmental and equipment-related issues. To increase vigilance, offer a warning, and assure protection against injury, today’s miners rely on safety procedures and equipment.

Mine Safety: What It Means to You

A healthy workplace requires a high level of safety. Mines, in particular, are dangerous locations with a higher risk of large-scale environmental harm and human death than many other workplaces, making mine safety a constant worry. 

Safety has become a new challenge as mines grow in size and depth, and mining companies grow larger operations with more workers. This problem has been solved by developing specialized procedures and equipment that provide miners with the notice and protection they need to avoid or reduce accidents.

The Process of Making Mines Safer

Mines become safer due to a mix of safety laws and regulations, as well as technical equipment that mitigates dangers and risks. The use of automation and conveyors in mineral extraction and transportation has reduced worker injuries, while GPS location and proximity warning technology has cut the number of transport accidents. 

Personal safety equipment has improved in terms of effectiveness and mobility, allowing miners to carry the necessary protective equipment with them. 

Communication advancements have enhanced worker and supervisor awareness, allowing them to follow movements and deliver updates promptly, preventing mishaps caused by misunderstanding or misinformation. The Mine Safety and Health Administration conducts regular audits to ensure that mines adhere to federal safety requirements at all times.


The mining sector is attempting to become more environmentally friendly. This is due to a variety of factors. There are obvious reasons to enhance environmental health and create a better planet for future generations. This attempt is also motivated by financial considerations.

The mining sector is funding this research and development. It’s also starting to put what it’s learned into practice. It is collaborating with governments and groups to better its operations.

Janet Sheriff is a creative entrepreneur with vast expertise in strategic planning, management, indigenous affairs, and communications. She works with start-ups, new businesses, and the mining and gold exploration industries. Learn more with Janet today. 


About the Author

Janet Sheriff

An innovative entrepreneur, Janet brings her extensive experience in all aspects of strategic planning, management, indigenous affairs and communications to start ups, new ventures and the mining & exploration sectors. Janet focuses her entrepreneurial spirit, leadership skills and vision to create new opportunities, award-winning innovative programs and new ways of conducting business. Her strong commitment to community engagement, sustainability and inclusion provides her the proven ability to work effectively and respectfully in cross-cultural environments.