05/07/2012 - 04:00 am

MSHA Reports Alarming Trend of Struck-By Accidents

According to the Mine Safety and Health Organization, there has been an alarming upward trend of serious and fatal industries involving miners who are being crushed, run over, pinned by, or struck by moving equipment. Since Jan. 1, 2010, 85 miners have been injured by mobile equipment, including eight miners who were killed in accidents involving mobile face equipment. Of the total number of miners injured, 26 were permanently partially or totally disabled from accidents involving mobile equipment and 51 had lost time accidents.

MSHA has released a Best Practices document to help prevent these types of accidents, which are also common to construction and industrial work areas.

Best Practices

  • Install and maintain electronic proximity detection devices. See the proximity detection single source page on the MSHA website.
  • Stay out of the red zone when the continuous miner is operating.
  • Always walk behind mobile equipment. Never walk in front of a shuttle car or scoop.
  • Sound warnings when starting and tramming equipment, making tight turns, reversing direction, or approaching curtains.
  • Use transparent curtains wherever possible to enhance visibility.
  • Install cameras on shuttlecars and ramcars.
  • Never obstruct visibility by overloading haulage equipment, especially in lower coal seams.
  • Exercise caution and signal your presence to mobile equipment operators.
  • Be aware of your surroundings and the travel routes of shuttlecars and scoops especially when proceeding in by the tailpiece on foot.
  • Provide miners on foot with small permissible flashing strobe lights that can be clipped to clothing or carried.
  • Wear reflective clothing to ensure higher visibility when walking or working near moving equipment.


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