The progress made in the safety and quality of mining was almost always to allow miners to reach further into the deeper areas of the mine that were previously impossible. Two of the major areas of mining that were revolutionized were the changing of shafts and the use of helmets to provide oxygen in order to reach further into the mine. The creation of shafts was to assist with the danger of collapse with the heavy weight of the rock above when reaching deeper sections. Phillip Deidesheimer suggested interconnected beams of timber that have a structure similar to buildings. (LeCain, 40). This created problems with air and resulted in the creation of helmets that allowed miners to breath without the effects of smoke. It also deferred gases from their eyes. Miners were then required to unsafely clean up and fix dangerous parts of mines (LeCain, 45-46). It is the development of these technologies that were used to help miners and had many consequences.
I think the way to start helping the environment is to deal with the most immediate and dangerous effects first. John Sandlos and Arn Keeling cite a time where arsenic in the water from a mine killed a two-year-old boy and sickened many members of an aboriginal tribe (Sandlos & Keeling, 80-83). Starting here and educating people about these issues in order to gain support is the first step to making a difference. It’s also important to make sure that actions are taken before and during the process of mining to better understand the consequences and how to manage them. It is important that mining becomes a safer endeavor for workers, members of the community, and the environment. It may never be the safest, but it can certainly be safer. Improvements can be made to ensure that the environment and those who live in it aren’t hurt as much by mining.