MSHA launches safety initiative for isolated miners

By |  May 2, 2017

Five miners died in accidents during the first three months of the year that occurred when they were working alone on mine property, reports the Mine Safety & Health Administration (MSHA).

In order to raise awareness of this, MSHA launched an initiative to focus on hazards that miners may encounter when they’re working in areas away from others.

According to MSHA, the initiative calls on inspectors and training specialists to engage miners and mine operators in “walk and talks” during regular inspection visits. MSHA encourages operators to account for all workers at all times and to provide them with best practices.

Some of the best practices emphasized by MSHA include thinking about the task at hand and if the miner has the adequate training to perform the job safely; informing a responsible person where a miner will be working and traveling in the mine; identifying hazards before beginning a task; avoiding shortcuts; and using customary check-in and check-out procedures.

“Mine operators should have procedures in place so they can account for the whereabouts of every miner, at the beginning of the shift, while they are working and at the end of the shift,” says Patricia Silvey, deputy assistant secretary of labor for operations. “They should assess whether a particular task can be safely completed by a miner working alone, and always follow established communication practices.”

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About the Author:

Allison Kral is the former senior digital media manager for North Coast Media (NCM). She completed her undergraduate degree at Ohio University where she received a Bachelor of Science in magazine journalism from the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism. She works across a number of digital platforms, which include creating e-newsletters, writing articles and posting across social media sites. She also creates content for NCM's Portable Plants magazine, GPS World magazine and Geospatial Solutions. Her understanding of the ever-changing digital media world allows her to quickly grasp what a target audience desires and create content that is appealing and relevant for any client across any platform.

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