Back-to-back fatalities prompt MSHA alert

February 27, 2013

Arlington, VA – A recent spate of coal mining deaths has prompted an alert from the Mine Safety and Health Administration.

Six miners died between Jan. 26 and Feb. 19; four occurred at underground mines and two at surface mines. The alert provides details on the incidents, which involved machinery, a pressurized vessel, a hoist and powered haulage equipment.

Best practices suggested by MSHA include:

  • Ensure machines are turned off and blocked against motion before performing maintenance.
  • Be aware of your location in relation to moving equipment, and never position yourself between equipment in motion and a stationary object.
  • Conduct thorough examinations of all hoisting equipment and safety mechanisms on a daily basis.
  • Train miners in the proper maintenance of, and the dangers associated with, working around pressurized cylinders and other vessels that have the potential to explode or rupture.