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MSHA issues RFI on technologies to reduce mobile equipment, belt conveyor incidents

July 3, 2018

Arlington, VA — The Mine Safety and Health Administration is seeking input on technologies that may help reduce incidents involving mobile equipment at surface mines, as well as belt conveyors at surface and underground mines, according to a Request for Information published in the June 26 Federal Register.

Agency research shows that almost 40 percent of the 28 mining fatalities that occurred in 2017 involved mobile equipment, including bulldozers, front-end loaders and trucks. MSHA has reported 61 such fatal injuries among miners since 2007, and found that inadequate or lack of seat belt use was a contributing factor in many cases.

Since 2007, 13 of the 17 fatalities involving belt conveyors used for transporting materials were related to entanglement hazards, the agency states.

According to the RFI, MSHA will announce the dates and locations of stakeholder meetings in a Federal Register notice. The agency also may consider amending engineering controls to enhance seat belt use and reduce hazards associated with working near moving belt conveyors.

“The Trump administration is committed to the health and safety of America’s miners,” MSHA administrator David Zatezalo said in a June 25 press release. “Through the deployment of modern technologies, such as proximity detection, we can help ensure that miners return home safely at the end of their shifts. MSHA is also interested in learning more about how seat belts can be more widely used in mining operations to prevent injuries.”

Comments are due Dec. 24.