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MSHA issues alert on mobile equipment

A shuttle car operator was fatally injured when he was struck by a battery powered scoop. The driver parked the shuttle car in an intersection behind an opaque ventilation curtain. Inset photo: A shuttle car operator was injured when another shuttle car struck the cab of the unit he was operating. The operator died from the injuries several weeks later. Photos: Mine Safety and Health Administration

Arlington, VA — Spurred by the deaths of six miners who were struck by mobile equipment in underground production areas, the Mine Safety and Health Administration has issued a safety alert.

The agency details four of the incidents, including one in which two miners were fatally injured when a locomotive collided with the personnel carrier transporting them. In addition to the six fatalities, 61 miners have suffered lost-time injuries.

MSHA best practices for operating or working near mobile equipment:

  • Slow down and sound audible devices when approaching hazardous areas and before proceeding through ventilation curtains or fly pads, intersections, and blind corners.
  • Communicate your position and intended movements to mobile equipment operators. Wait for their acknowledgement before moving.
  • Wear reflective clothing.
  • Install and maintain clear ventilation curtains or fly pads at all intersections.
  • Direct mine operators to evaluate available and emerging technologies, including proximity detection systems, and consider their implementation.
  • Provide hand-held radios for workers on foot or dismounting a vehicle.
  • Minimize pedestrian traffic on known haulage routes.

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