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MSHA calls for focus during ‘deadly’ month of April

Hanging helmets

Photo: Madzia71/iStockphoto

Arlington, VA – The Mine Safety and Health Administration is calling for increased focus on safety during April, one of the deadliest months of the year for the mining industry.

The agency launched its “Think, Plan, Train…Before You Begin Work!” initiative March 29 for both metal and non-metal mines.

Since 2000, 50 miners have died in April, as many mines resume operations after idle winters – often with new workers, according to MSHA.

A new alert from the agency reminds mine operators to do the following:

  • Implement safe work procedures.
  • Adhere to manufacturers’ recommendations.
  • Secure equipment to prevent it from moving.
  • Discuss hazards and mitigate them before work begins.
  • Inform workers of hazards.
  • Conduct training.
  • Keep training current.

In a March 31 blog post, MSHA chief Joseph A. Main tells the story of a 58-year-old truck driver who died in April 2014 after he was struck by an excavator that was loading his truck. An MSHA investigation found that the mine operator did not train truck drivers and excavator operators on safe loading procedures.

The initiative is part of MSHA’s larger plan for reducing deaths. Mine inspectors are distributing safety alerts to miners, mine operators, industry stakeholders and training representatives.

“Our ‘Think, Plan Train… Before You Begin Work!’ alert will help make sure we all stay laser focused on preventing the deadly consequences that April has historically brought,” Main said in a press release.

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