Legislation Coal

Proposed rule would require proximity detection on underground coal-haulage equipment


Photo: victorprofessor/iStock/Thinkstock

Arlington, VA – A proposed rule from the Mine Safety and Health Administration is calling for proximity detection systems to be included on mobile machines in underground coal mines.

MSHA says proximity detection systems could help save miners’ lives and prevent injuries by reducing the risk of pinning, crushing and striking incidents. Without the technology in place, 42 miners were killed and 179 were injured from 1984 to 2014, according to the agency.

As part of MSHA’s proposal, which was published in the Sept. 2 Federal Register, the agency is seeking public feedback about whether proximity detection systems also should be required in metal and non-metal mines. Comments are due Dec. 1.

“This proposed proximity detection system rule would better protect miners from being crushed or pinned in the confined underground mine spaces where large equipment is constantly in motion,” MSHA administrator Joseph A. Main said in a press release. “It is an important component of the department’s ‘Plan, Prevent and Protect’ strategy for safeguarding all workers.”