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MSHA Issues Serious Accident Alerts

The Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) issued a serious accident alert for an accident that occurred on Oct. 11. A miner received an electrical shock while working in a 480-volt electrical control panel for a portable crusher without locking and tagging out the circuit. The injured miner was transported to a local hospital, treated and released.

MSHA issued the following best practices to avoid this type of accident:

  • Develop, communicate and follow a written plan before performing electrical work to ensure that safety is maximized for all miners involved in the task.
  • Prior to conducting any electrical work, identify hazards, establish safe limits of approach, and determine appropriate PPE ratings.
  • Wear properly rated and well maintained PPE. Before working on equipment, always de-energize, lock and tag out the circuit with your lock and tag.
  • Test to ensure electrical circuits are de-energized using properly rated test equipment prior to performing work.
  • Use properly rated electrical meters and non-contact voltage testers to ensure electrical circuits are deenergized prior to performing electrical work. 

MSHA also issued a serious accident alert based on an accident that occurred when a miner was attempting to change the oil filter on the diesel motor for a cone crusher on July 25. The miner was using a filter wrench to remove the filter while standing on the battery box adjacent to the motor. The filter wrench broke and slipped causing the employee to fall about 5 ft. to the ground causing injury. 

MSHA issued the following best practices:

  • Establish and discuss safe work procedures before beginning the task to ensure that workers are not exposed to hazards when performing maintenance or repairs.
  • Communicate and correct hazards in a timely manner.
  • Ensure that workers are trained in and follow established safe work procedures recommended by the equipment manufacturer.
  • Provide safe access to all work areas including elevated platforms.
  • Use appropriate fall protection or fall prevention where there is a danger of falling.
  • Inspect all tools prior to starting the job for defects that may affect safety.