Drilling Sites

Table of Contents
20.0 Drilling Sites 
20.1 Risks, Hazards and Common Injuries Related to Drilling
20.2 Responsibilities (Due Diligence) Regarding Drilling Sites 
20.3 Drill Site Location, Planning and Preparation
   20.3.1 General Preparations
   20.3.2 Drilling Near Power Lines
   20.3.3 Drilling on Ice
20.4 General Safety Guidelines for Drill Sites 
   20.4.1 Emergency Response Plans (ERPs) 
   20.4.2 Communications 
   20.4.3 Pre-Program Safety Meetings
   20.4.4 Inspections 
   2 0.4.5 Reporting
   20.4.6 Employee Conduct
   20.4.7 Site Visitors
20.5 Guidelines for Safe Work Practices
   20.5.1 Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
   20.5.2 Working at Height - Fall Protection 
   20.5.3 Housekeeping 
   20.5.4 Manual Handling
20.6 General Hazards Associated with Drills and Specific Equipment 
   20.6.1 General Safety around Drill Sites 
   20.6.2 General Safety Tips Regarding Drilling Methods 
   20.6.3 Specific Hazards Regarding Drilling Methods Specific Drilling Methods Exposed Machine Parts Mechanical Failures Hydraulic Systems Compressed Air Systems High Pressure Hoses High Pressure Pumping Systems Fire Waterline Heaters 
20.7 Health Hazards
   20.7.1 Noise
   20.7.2 Respiratory Hazards 
   20.7.3 Radioactive Mineral Sampling and Storage 
   20.7.4 Hazardous Materials Silica Dust Asbestos and Amphiboles Drilling Additives and Fluids Other Hazardous Materials
20.8 Guidelines for Safe Drill Moves
20.9 Core Facilities and Sample Preparation
   20.9.1 Risks and Hazards 
   20.9.2 General Safety Practices
   20.9.3 Core Facilities 
   20.9.4 Sample Preparation 
   20.9.5 Core Logging 
   20.9.6 Toxic Substances used for Mineral Identification 
20.10 Selecting a Drill Contractor Evaluation Criteria 
   20.10.1 Suggested Drilling Contract Requirements 
20.11 Resources


Exploration employees who work at drill sites face exposure to hazards associated with drill equipment and sampling processes as well as the inherent hazards of location, terrain and climate. In addition, it is common practice for the senior geologist at a project to be in effect the project manager, and thus wholly or partially responsible for health and safety of both exploration company employees and contractor employees. Exploration companies should select a capable drilling contractor with the correct drill equipment for the job – preferably a drill rig with automated or mechanized rod handling features to reduce the risks of injuries. Drills are required by law to have other safety features such as guards on all moving parts, emergency shut offs and lockout capability (not just unhooking the battery).

This section highlights common risks and hazards associated with drill sites and focuses on safe work procedures and strategies to prevent accidents. The aim is to highlight safety information for exploration geologists and geotechnical personnel etc., rather than for drillers and drilling contractors who should have their own safety programs and safe operating procedures (SOPs). All parties working at drill sites should be required to comply with all relevant regulations of the authorities having jurisdiction (AHJs).