mining safety boots

Great mining inventions that revolutionised the industry


Great mining inventions that revolutionised the industry

mining safety boots

From the very start of mining, innovation has been a constant part of the industry. Through the ages, the industry has seen many inventions that have changed mine processes and safety precautions the world over. Ranging from PPE (Personal Protection Equipment) like mining safety boots, to more advanced machinery like mechanical hoists and ventilation systems, innovation has kept the evolution of mining going strong.

The economy of safety
Believe it or not, PPE did not feature high on the list of priorities for mine operators until about the 1900s. In 1912, there was a terrible mine explosion at Jed Mine in West Virginia. This lead to the creation of the first electric lamp for mining purposes by none other than Thomas Edison. Over the 25 years that followed, the invention reduced mine explosions by 75%. Of all his inventions, Edison believed that this one did the most for humanity. This was due to its ability to lessen the wider repercussions of mining accidents.

Seeing is believing
Eye injuries were common in mining operations. This lead to the creation of the safety goggles that we know today. In 1880, an “eye protector” patent was issued to P. Johnson, but it wasn’t until 1914 that the first patented safety glasses were created as part of Garret Morgan’s latest invention… the gas mask.

Ventilation systems
The process of shaft sinking in the mines created a desperate need for ventilation. In 1840, the Belgium Academy of Science offered rewards for ventilation systems that could be successfully implemented into the mineshafts. This triggered the creation of a host of mechanical ventilation systems that provided relief to the crowded mineshafts.

Mining safety boots
Foot safety for miners wasn’t a real concern until around the beginning of the 20th century. This was because new work legislations required employers to provide safety footwear for their employees. Early mining safety boots didn’t feature the steel toe caps and midsoles that are available today, but they still offered some form of protection for hardworking miners.

At Wayne, we are innovators in safety footwear. It’s why our offering has come to include a range of Heavy Duty gumboots that stand for uncompromised protection in hardwearing environments. For more info on this range and others, visit our website today at or call us on +27 11 671 0200.


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