Proximity detection ruling could apply to aggregates

By |  September 4, 2015

msha-logoThis month, the Mine Safety & Health Administration (MSHA) issued a regulation proposing that hauling machines and scoops in underground coal mines be equipped with proximity detection systems. But the proposed rule may go beyond just coal operations. The agency is requesting comments on whether this technology should be required in underground metal and nonmetal mines – including underground aggregate operations.

MSHA says, “This proposed proximity detection system rule would better protect our nation’s miners from being crushed or pinned in confined underground mine spaces where large equipment is constantly in motion.”

Proximity detection is a technology that uses electronic sensors to detect motion and the location of one object relative to another. These systems provide audible and visual warnings and automatically stop moving machines before miners get too close and an accident occurs.

Under the proposed rule, operators would be required to use proximity detection systems that:
• Cause a machine to stop before contacting a miner.
• Provide audible and visual warning signals when a miner gets too close to the machine.
• Provide a visual signal on the machine that indicates the system is functioning properly.
• Prevent movement of the machine if the system is not functioning properly.
• Prevent interference with or from other electrical systems.
• Be installed and maintained by a person trained in the system’s installation and maintenance.

This article is tagged with , and posted in Editors' Blog

About the Author:

Darren Constantino is an editor of Pit & Quarry magazine. He can be reached at

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