I've worked at the coal mines for 10 years and there are some tips and tricks that I've learnt along the way. I worked at both opencast and underground coal mines and did some exploration too. Today I will be sharing some of the things that made my life easier while I was a production geologist.
1. Always carry a pen with you. Treat this pen, as if it were your one and only child. Make sure said pen can clip onto your overall or jacket. Dropping a pen into the mud can make the life force drain out of you. Maybe just carry 2 pens.
2. Take snacks with you, always! It is not great to be hungry underground or in the pit, especially if you are going to be there for long periods of time. If you are anything like me, you eventually become "hangry" and it's not pleasant for the people around you to experience. Good snacks (not healthy, just good): bananas, nuts, sweets with wrappers, energy bars, water, coke.
3. Take a readable copy of the mine plan with you (opencast). I have learnt that there is no such thing as "I'm quickly going to the pit" especially if you aren't going by yourself. You might end up at a completely different place than planned and it's always at that exact time that you would need to consult a plan... with the pen mentioned in point 1.
4. Get a waterproof notebook (underground). This I learned quickly. Not me, during vacation work, going underground with a normal, black hardcover notebook. I soon learnt that if you stand near a drainage hole, with a normal notebook, there will be nothing left of your beautiful notes and/or mapping. Don't fight this, just get a waterproof one.
5. A clipboard is my friend and also my enemy. Clipboards make mapping super easy, underground and opencast. They also make logging easier if you are logging on paper. Just take note that clipboards and wind do not go well together #MyPaperIsTryingToFly so it's advisable to use an elastic band to secure your paper. Also, if you are like me and carry 6 million things when going to site, the clipboard tends to get in the way.
7/10 Would recommend clipboard (the pro's outweigh the cons for me)
I now realize that I actually have many, many more of these to share but I'm certainly not going to bombard you all with them in one blog post. If you want more of these, feel free to leave a comment and let me know.