On last week's MSHA quarterly training call, Patricia W. Silvey, deputy assistant secretary of labor for operations, highlighted the number of mining related fatalities this year in which miners were working alone at the time of a fatal accident. In the first three months of 2017, five miners died in accidents that occurred when they were working alone on mine property. Due to this startling fact, MSHA announced an initiative to raise awareness of the hazards miners face when working alone can not be avoided.
MSHA points out that among other best practices minders should:



  • Think about the task:
    • Does the miner have adequate training, knowledge, skills and equipment to do the job safely?
    • Does the miner need help to complete the job?
  • Always inform a responsible person where the miner will be working and traveling in the mine.
  • Before beginning any task, identify the hazards.
  • Don’t take shortcuts.
  • Use customary check-in/check-out procedures.

For more details on the outreach initiative and about these fatalities, visit MSHA's website.