MSHA launches fatality prevention program

Following a record-low number of mining fatalities in 2009, the Mine Safety and Health Administration launched a new initiative to prevent fatal accidents. Rules to Live By will consist of two phases: outreach and education, followed by enhanced enforcement, according to an MSHA press release.

The program will target 24 frequently cited standards, which the agency identified through an analysis of the 589 mining fatalities that occurred from 2000 to 2008. The standards are grouped into the following major categories: falls from elevation, falls off roof and rib, operating mobile equipment, maintenance, lockout/tagout, blocking against motion, and struck by mobile equipment.

MSHA said it will provide mine operators, labor organizations and other stakeholders with information on accident causes and compliance assistance before beginning focused inspections in mid-March.

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