MSHA Issues New Serious Accident Alert


The Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) has issued the following serious accident alert.

On June 29, 2017, a truck driver was using a roll-off truck with a winch attachment to pick up a construction dump bin. The hook at the end of the winch cable failed and recoiled over a high voltage powerline. This energized the truck and caused significant arcing to the ground through the truck tires. The truck driver, who was operating the winch controls from the ground, received an electric shock and was transported to a local hospital.

MSHA recommends the following best practices to avoid an accident such as this one:

  • Recognize potential hazards. Train workers to look up prior to starting work to check for power lines. 
  • Erect clearly visible signs to alert miners of the location and danger of high voltage power lines. 
  • Install high visibility spheres on energized lines to help make the line location obvious to all workers. 
  • Install physical barriers under overhead lines. 
  • Have the electric power utility company install insulating barriers or sleeve conductors where equipment must operate. 
  • Position miners as "spotters" to alert equipment operators of the proximity of their equipment to energized powerlines.
  • Steel cables and attachments should be regularly inspected and maintained in safe operating condition.