• Question: have you ever been in a cave/mine were you were in danger and what was it like

    Asked by houseStark to Kevin on 12 Nov 2014.
    • Photo: Kevin Motherway

      Kevin Motherway answered on 12 Nov 2014:

      I’ve been down several mines and like any mine there are risks, but they are well known and they can be managed. On arrival at the mine all your safety equipment is checked and given a rebreather a short term air supply should you need it. Of course your given the helmet with the lamp and a battery pack. You’re also given a briefing on the risks and how to deal with them (no matter how many times you’ve heard it before). Some of the risks in a mine are from gases like hydrogen sulphide or even methane that could cause suphocation or an explosion. We never go into areas that are being actively blasted with explosives (not until its declared safe). The biggest risk is actually from equipment like massive trucks and loaders. Nowadays you always drive down into mines on a very steep road called “the decline” (not via a lift) maybe nearly down 800m underground. When you first drive down and you see the daylight disappearing and realise there’s millions of tons of rock above your head its a bit disconcerting at the start, but you get used to it very quickly as there so many interesting things going on. So have I been exposed to higher levels of risk while underground? Yes, but you identify the risks, take extra precautions to stay safe and get on with the job! I always enjoy going down a mine and I’ve never felt in danger.