The Mine Safety and Health Association (MSHA) has issued a new Serious Accident Alert.
In March 2017, a miner entered a feed hopper to remove bolts on the skirt board. When he heard a bull dozer that typically pushes material into the hopper approaching, the miner tried to escape through the opening at the bottom of the hopper.
The bull dozer pushed material into the hopper, unaware that the miner was inside, burying him up to his chest. It took emergency services approximately two hours to extricate the miner.
MSHA issued the following best practices to avoid an accident like this:
- Communicate on-going jobs with all employees so they are aware of where miners may be working.
- Post highly visible signs or install warning lights to alert mobile equipment operators of the presence of miners working in an area.
- Erect substantial physical barriers to keep mobile equipment from entering areas where miners are working.
- S.L.A.M. – Use the ‘Stop, Look, Analyze, Manage’ approach to understand and mitigate risks.
This alert can be posted on bulletin boards, used in safety talks or given to miners and contractors as a hand out, MSHA said.