Seasonal safety: Winter Federal agencies Mining, oil and gas Injury prevention Workplace exposures Mining_Oil_Gas

MSHA releases winter safety checklist for mine workers and operators


Photo: grandriver/iStockphoto

Arlington, VA — As winter approaches, the Mine Safety and Health Administration has released best practices aimed at reducing hazards related to cold weather.

“Many mining injuries and fatalities could be prevented with proper training and attention to tasks,” MSHA says.

Guidance for surface mines includes:

  • Clear snow and ice from roads and walkways
  • Apply sand or salt to walkways to improve traction
  • Wear footwear that grips
  • Check for slip and trip hazards
  • Maintain equipment to operate safely in cold weather
  • Drive slowly and keep space between vehicles
  • Examine equipment for exhaust leaks
  • Always wear a seat belt
  • Check the integrity of highwalls, benches and roadways, especially after each rain, freeze or thaw

The agency calls on coal miners to:

  • Properly support roofs and be aware of changing roof conditions
  • Properly ventilate the mine
  • Keep clean all combustible materials in the mine
  • Apply liberal amounts of rock dust
  • Conduct frequent examinations

MSHA encourages mine operators to print a winter best practices poster or distribute the agency’s winter alert graphics via email or online.

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