MSHA shares best practices to prevent falls

By |  March 27, 2017

The Mine Safety & Health Administration (MSHA) issued a safety alert to prevent falls at mining operations, citing 29 miners who have died at metal and nonmetal mines in the past decade when they fell from an area where they worked.

Miners fell from heavy equipment, ladders and conveyor walkways, MSHA says.

In its safety alert, MSHA shared several best practices operations should follow to avoid accidents. For example, MSHA suggests operations make mobile or stationary platforms, from which miners may work, available at locations where falls are a risk. Also, assign a safety harness and lanyard to miners who work at elevated heights or locations where falls can occur.

In addition, MSHA advises operations to construct stable, durable and secure anchor points for miners to attach lanyards at all locations where fall hazards exist. Inspect these anchor points frequently, and post signage that says, “Fall protection is required here.”

Operations can also best serve their employees by placing stable and secure physical barriers around all floor openings through which miners may fall. Yellow caution tape is not acceptable to use as a barrier, MSHA adds.

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

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