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MSHA issues safety alert on vacuum operations

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Photo: MSHA

Arlington, VA – The Mine Safety and Health Administration is urging miners to exercise extreme caution in and around vacuum trucks because of potentially life-threatening hazards, according to a safety alert released Sept. 27.

The alert warns miners of static electricity-related hazards that may result in shock, explosions and secondary injuries. It also offers best practices for miners to help them stay safe during vacuum operations:

  • Make sure the truck is connected to an object that is grounded.
  • Ensure the truck has a connection that is constantly monitored for the duration of the operation.
  • When a break in the grounding connection occurs, use interlocks to trigger a shutdown of the transfer operation.
  • Use conductive or semi-conductive hoses and test their continuity often.

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