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Recently, I’ve had to go through safety/hazard training at a mine site.  It’s mandatory of anyone who needs to work at a mine.  I may need to work at a mine within the next year.  Therefore, I had to go through the safety/hazard training.  Now that that’s taken care of…

I found out some interesting things in this training.  Things like…

  • Anyone who works on a mine site, regardless of what you do at the site, is called a miner.  This means the Sparkletts guy who delivers water to the site is also a miner.  Even though he’s a Sparkletts delivery guy.  Yes, he was in my training class.  Oh, and you have to take the refresher course every year.
  • Mine safety/hazard training involves more than just safety and hazards.  We also had to learn about endangered or protected species that we might encounter.  I found out that the Mojave tortoise is a protected species.  If you harass one of these tortoises, you can be punished with up to a $50k fine and/or a year in jail.  You think that leaving a tortoise alone would be pretty easy to do.  Too bad the enforcement agency believes that being with 25′ of one of these tortoises is harassing the tortoise.  That means, you might never see the tortoise or know that it’s there but if one of the agents knows that you’ve come within 25′ of the tortoise, you could be going to jail and be a whole lot poorer.  (Now then, I believe that the agents are a lot more reasonable than that, but technically this could happen.)
  • Sun spiders are really aggressive.  They get pretty mad at you if you try and stomp them to death and don’t succeed.  They’ll probably start chasing you after that.  If you try and stomp one of them to death and you’re wearing work boots, then you have to stomp really hard and then twist.  Otherwise they’ll just get into the tread of your boot and survive and then chase you angrily.
  • Our instructor was very chipper and has been training miners for a long time.
  • There are designer hard hats.  I think I’ll have to invest in a hard hat soon.  If not for this job then for another.
  • One of the most interesting and efficient uses for borax is fighting forest fires.  A lot of the trees in CA forests produce seeds that will only germinate once they go through a fire that reaches above some ridiculous temperature (I forgot the numbers and I’m too lazy to look it up right now, sorry).  So what they do is they air drop seeds over an area of the forest that’s on fire.  The seeds are able to germinate now, so they air drop borax powder over the fire as a flame retardant and to keep the fire from spreading.  Then, they go through and drop water on everything to put the fire out.  The water mixes with the borax and ends up being fertilizer for the germinating seeds.  I’m so impressed by the efficiency of this process.  So.  Impressed.
  • There was more but like normal, I can’t remember anything else off the top of my head right now and I’m too lazy to look things up.

So there you have it.  Stuff about mines.

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