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Deaths of two lone workers spur MSHA safety alert

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Arlington, VA – The Mine Safety and Health Administration has issued a Fatal Accidents Alert in response to the deaths of two miners that occurred within 24 hours of each other.

Both fatalities involved miners working alone in restricted areas with hazardous conditions, the alert states. On Jan. 25, a miner was found in an underground limestone mine under material that had fallen from a rib pillar. The area of the mine in which the incident had occurred was barricaded from entry due to poor roof and rib conditions, according to MSHA. One day later, a miner was found entangled near a conveyor belt drive in a coal mine.

The alert includes a list of best practices, including:

  • Never enter hazardous areas that are marked to prohibit entry.
  • Train miners on a method that clearly alerts them not to enter hazardous areas.
  • Do not allow miners to work alone.
  • Never perform work on a moving conveyor belt.

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