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MSHA: Miners continue to die in rollover accidents

By |  July 21, 2021
According to the Mine Safety & Health Administration, recent vehicle rollover accidents in mines involved haul trucks, excavators, bulldozers, loaders and service trucks. Photo: RiverRockPhotos/E+/Getty Images

According to the Mine Safety & Health Administration, recent vehicle rollover accidents in mines involved haul trucks, excavators, bulldozers, loaders and service trucks. Photo: RiverRockPhotos/E+/Getty Images

The Mine Safety & Health Administration (MSHA) issued a safety alert because of recent vehicle rollover accidents, noting that miners died when vehicles flipped over backward, rolled over or tipped over on their side.

MSHA says the miners who died were operating haul trucks, excavators, bulldozers, front-end loaders and service trucks while working or traveling near the edge of dump sites, elevated roadways, embankments, ponds and excavations.

A number of other serious injury and close-call accidents have occurred, the agency reports. These involved haul trucks, water trucks, excavators, motor graders and pickup trucks. Contributing factors were the non-use or unbuckling of seat belts, jumping from vehicles, brake failure, distracted driving, loss of vehicle control, traveling or working too close to unconsolidated roadways, inadequate berms, pushing through berms and failure to perform workplace examinations.

In response to all of these incidents, MSHA is promoting several best practices including:

• Examine and maintain the workplace.This includes dump sites, roadways, ramps and berms. Material should be unloaded on level, stable ground behind a dump berm or block, MSHA says, and well back from an edge or with spotter assistance.

• Maintain control of the vehicle.Operate at safe speeds – especially on curves and when turning or cornering. Also, MSHA advises miners and operators to enter the vehicle in the travel lane and avoid distractions.

• Establish traffic rules. Post signage where necessary and ensure rules are followed.

• Maintain vehicles in good condition.Among the components to regularly maintain are brakes, wheels, tires, steering and operating controls, lights, windows and wipers.

• Ensure seat belts are maintained in good condition and worn at all times. Miners should remain inside the cab. Never attempt to jump clear. Also, consider the use of four-point seat belt systems and new technology that provides early warning of tipping.

In addition, MSHA says all miners and mine operators should be trained in best practices as a means to avoid vehicle accidents.

Kevin Yanik

About the Author:

Kevin Yanik is the editor-in-chief of Pit & Quarry magazine. Yanik can be reached at 216-706-3724 or kyanik@northcoastmedia.net.

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