Mining, oil and gas

MSHA issues electrical safety bulletin


Arlington, VA – As part of its efforts to improve miner safety, the Mine Safety and Health Administration has released an electrical safety alert to remind miners of best practices.

The Feb. 13 bulletin describes three recent incidents at underground coal mines that led to miners being hospitalized. In the first, an electrician was shocked and burned when trying to fix a damaged cable with the circuit breaker closed and the cable coupler connected to the receptacle.

The other two incidents involved miners who were shocked while working with a damaged cable while the cable, floor and their gloves were wet.

The bulletin includes the following tips:

  • Never perform electrical work until the circuit is de-energized, locked and tagged out.
  • Never touch any ungrounded electrical component until it is de-energized.
  • Identify hazards. Establish and follow a safety plan. Use electrical measurements to test for unwanted electrical power, particularly in wet or muddy areas.
  • Handle de-energized cable. Or wear properly rated, well-maintained electrical gloves when handling energized cables.
  • Immediately notify a qualified electrician about damaged cable.