OSHA and MSHA partner on poster and infographic on preventing heat illness

Original article published by Safety+Health
mining-workers.jpg

Photo: OSHA

Washington — A new poster and infographic from OSHA and the Mine Safety and Health Administration offer best practices to help mine operators and workers prevent heat illness and heat-related hazards.

To start, the agencies recommend easing into work to build tolerance to heat. Almost 3 out of 4 fatalities related to heat illness occur during the first week of work, the poster states.

Other guidance:

  • Provide workers with heat stress training.
  • Implement mine planning, ventilation and air conditioning to reduce heat, when possible.
  • Promote reasonably short work periods and provide frequent rest breaks in cool areas.
  • Wear a hat and light-colored, loose-fitting, breathable clothing, when possible.
  • Drink at least 1 cup of cool water every 20 minutes, even if you aren’t thirsty.

Signs of heat illness include headache, nausea, dizziness, heavy sweating and elevated body temperature. Workers experiencing these symptoms shouldn’t be left alone and should be provided with water in a cool rest area.

If a worker exhibits abnormal thinking or behavior, slurred speech, seizures, or loss of consciousness, call 911 right away and use water or ice to cool the worker immediately. Remain with the worker until help arrives.

The agencies encourage mine operators and workers to use and distribute the poster and infographic.


McCraren Compliance offers many opportunities in safety training to help circumvent accidents. Please take a moment to visit our calendar of classes to see what we can do to help your safety measures from training to consulting.

Highwall Safety Alert

Original article published by MSHA
Since CY 2012, falling rocks and materials from hazardous highwalls have resulted in 9 mining fatalities and 27 serious injuries.
Since CY 2012, falling rocks and materials from hazardous highwalls have resulted in 9 mining fatalities and 27 serious injuries.
Photo property of MSHA
Best Practices
  • Develop and follow a plan for the safe control of all highwalls where miners work and travel in close proximity to the highwall.
  • Train miners to recognize highwall hazards.
  • Conduct highwall examinations and assure hazards (loose rocks, overhangs, trees, etc.) are taken down or supported prior to work or travel near the highwall. Examine more frequently after rain, freezing and thawing.
  • Scale highwalls to eliminate hazards, e.g. loose rocks or overhangs. Perform scaling from a position that will not expose miners to injury. Until hazards are corrected, place warning signs or barricades to prevent entry.
  • Restrict highwall height to allow available equipment to safely scale the highwall. If benching is necessary, provide adequate bench width based on the type of equipment used for routine clearing or scaling operations.
  • Develop blasting plans and use proper blasting techniques. Examine highwalls after blasting.
  • Remove trees, vegetation, and unconsolidated material a safe distance from the top edge of highwalls.
  • Never park equipment, perform maintenance or store materials beneath highwalls.
  • Use diversion ditches or slope the ground so that surface runoff drains away from highwalls.

McCraren Compliance offers many opportunities in safety training to help circumvent accidents. Please take a moment to visit our calendar of classes to see what we can do to help your safety measures from training to consulting.

MSHA – Mine Fatality #1

Original article published by MSHA

MINE FATALITY – On January 4, 2023, a miner was fatally injured while performing maintenance inside a jaw crusher. The pitman assembly (moving jaw) rotated, pinning the miner against the crusher housing.

Accident scene where a miner was fatally injured while performing maintenance inside a jaw crusher.
Photo property of MSHA

Best Practices

  • block machinery components against motion before beginning maintenance or repairs;
  • position miners in a safe location and away from potential pinch point areas;
  • conduct repairs according to manufacturer’s recommendations; and
  • develop procedures for working safely in confined spaces.

Additional Information

This is the first fatality reported in 2023, and the first classified as “Machinery.”


McCraren Compliance offers many opportunities in safety training to help circumvent accidents. Please take a moment to visit our calendar of classes to see what we can do to help your safety measures from training to consulting.

MSHA – Mine Fatality #28

Original article published by MSHA

MINE FATALITY – On December 6, 2022, a miner died when the diesel tractor he was operating struck a pillar.  The miner was thrown from the tractor and crushed under the rear tire of the tractor.

Accident scene where a miner died when the diesel tractor he was operating struck a pillar.

Photo property of MSHA

Best Practices

  • Make sure miners wear seat belts when operating mobile equipment.
  • Make sure miners maintain control of equipment while it is in operation.
  • Train miners in the safe performance of their assigned tasks.

Additional Information

This is the 28th fatality reported in 2022, and the fifth classified as “Powered Haulage.”


McCraren Compliance offers many opportunities in safety training to help circumvent accidents. Please take a moment to visit our calendar of classes to see what we can do to help your safety measures from training to consulting.

MSHA – Mine Fatality #27

Original article published by MSHA

MINE FATALITY – On November 5, 2022, a miner died when he was engulfed in a coal stockpile.

Accident scene where a miner died when he was engulfed in a coal stockpile.

Photo property of MSHA

Best Practices

  • Equip grates and feeders with mechanical clearing devices to prevent miners from being exposed to hazards of falling or sliding material.
  • Make sure miners do not travel by foot on stockpiles or near the toe of stockpile slopes.
  • Make sure miners can be seen, heard, or can communicate with others when working alone under hazardous conditions.
  • Examine working places to identify the potential for falling or sliding materials prior to allowing access to areas in or around grates and feeders.

Additional Information

This is the 27th fatality reported in 2022, and the third classified as “Engulfment.”


McCraren Compliance offers many opportunities in safety training to help circumvent accidents. Please take a moment to visit our calendar of classes to see what we can do to help your safety measures from training to consulting.

Mine Blasting Safety and Application Seminar

Original article published by MSHA
Location

National Mine Health and Safety Academy, 1301 Airport Rd.
BeaverWV 25813-9426
United States

February 22, 2023 07:30 am – February 23, 2023 05:15 pm

National Mine Health and Safety Academy

This tuition-free seminar is for mining company managers, blasting engineers, blasters, and others involved with the planning, design, and use of explo­sives in the mining industry.

The most recent innovations in drilling and blast­ing design technology will be addressed, along with specific blasting applications, up-to-date blasting regulations, and blasting related information from recognized experts. Presenters are drawn from manu­facturers of explosives and accessories, blasting con­sultants, design experts, and government agencies. Examples of topics include:

  • Safety in storage, transportation, and use of explosives, and how to recognize and prevent malfunctions.
  • Blasting design technology.
  • Safe blasting practices.
  • Drilling design.
  • The use of seismology in blasting applications.
  • Electronic initiation systems.
  • Flyrock.
  • Construction blasting.
  • Vibration control.

Contact Jared Adkins at 304-256-3472 or Adkins.Jared@dol.gov for more information.

NOTE: The States of West Virginia, Alabama, Ken­tucky, Ohio, Colorado, Wyoming, New York, and Pennsylvania will accept this seminar as part of the blasting recertification Continuing Education Hours requirement. The Commonwealth of Virginia will accept it for recertification of construction blasters only.

Location

The seminar will be held at the National Mine Health and Safety Academy, Beaver, West Virginia, starting at 7:30 a.m. on Wednesday, February 22, 2023, and ending at 5:15 p.m. on Thursday, February 23, 2023. Opening remarks will begin promptly at 7:35 a.m. in the auditorium so that classes can begin at 8:00 a.m. in the C Wing of the Academy.

Registration/ Accommodations

To register, fill out, and return the registration form, or fax it to 304-256-3251. You may also fill it out, scan, and email to Spencer.Kimberly@dol.gov or Cordle.Natasha@dol.gov. Room and board are available at the Academy for participants. The lodging fee is $46 per person per day and is payable by credit card (Visa/MasterCard) or check to MSHA Finance. Please note that (1) cash cannot be accepted, and (2) post-billing is possible for participants on request by letter to the Academy Student Services Branch.

Persons staying at the Academy may have their spouse and immedi­ate family as guests provided all appropriate fees are paid on arrival. Advance reservations are required. Guests under 18 years of age must be accompanied by an adult at all times. If you have special needs, please contact Student Services before your arrival at 304-256-3252.

Participants may pay for meals in the cafeteria by cash, credit card, or check made payable to RC Tech, Inc.  Times for the meals are as follows:

Breakfast       (  6:15 a.m. – 8:00 a.m.)
Lunch             (11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.)

All persons under a program supported through an MSHA State Grant will be provided room and board at no charge. If you are applying for a room/board waiver through a State Grant, you must submit your request no later than 30 days prior to the event in order to allow time for processing. If lodging is pre­ferred outside of the Academy, there are a number of local motels.

Lodging at the Mine Academy for this conference is limited. Click on this link for a list of local motels.

All students, including those pre-registered, will be required to sign in for the seminar. You may sign in on Tuesday, February 21, from 3:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., near the Student Registration area, or Wednesday and Thursday, February 22-23, from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 a.m., adjacent to the Auditorium.


McCraren Compliance offers many opportunities in safety training to help circumvent accidents. Please take a moment to visit our calendar of classes to see what we can do to help your safety measures from training to consulting.

National Miners Day: Reflecting on the Past, Appreciating the Present, and Embracing the Future

Original article published by NIOSH

Today is National Miners Day, giving us a chance to reflect on how this vital industry benefits our lives. More importantly, it is a day to think of those who work in this challenging profession and face its hazards, with some help from NIOSH.

Lawmakers established the first Miners Day on December 6, 2009. The date is an observance of the anniversary of the Monongah, West Virginia, mining disaster where 362 miners died from a catastrophic explosion. It remains the highest death toll of any U.S. mining disaster.

Mining remains one of the most hazardous industry sectors, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. However, these hazards are often unseen because about half of the more than 12,000 mines spread across every state in the U.S. are in rural areas, and many are entirely underground.

The minerals, stones, metals, and other raw materials that come out of mines are usually transformed beyond recognition to make valuable goods. The cars we drive and roads we travel, the utensils and appliances we use to make our meals, and the mobile devices and computers we communicate with are all possible because mine workers delivered the raw materials needed to make these useful items.

The mine workers who deliver these resources face many potential hazards including noise, dust, shifting geology, poor illumination, repetitive motions in unusual positions, and working around enormous pieces of moving equipment. The training, technologies, and work practices to manage and eliminate these hazards play a critical role in their profession.

he NIOSH Mining Program’s rich history has roots in the former Bureau of Mines, and with its ongoing research, continues to contribute meaningful improvements to the way miners work and the methods by which mines can keep their workers healthy and safe. Since its inception in 1996, the NIOSH Mining Program has developed new technologies and made other contributions that include the following:

Advances in mining equipment:

  • Cap lamp designs and brighter area lights reduce glare and help miners to see potential hazards more clearly
  • Mobile dry scrubbers pull hazardous coal dust out of the air
  • Intelligent proximity detection systems keep miners safe around moving equipment
  • Continuous personal dust monitors empower coal miners with near real-time information about coal dust exposure

New apps and software:

  • ErgoMine mobile app helps audit mining workplaces for potential ergonomic improvements
  • EXAMiner hazard recognition software allows users to perform a virtual workplace examination to build confidence for real-life settings
  • FAST software program supports field-based silica monitoring for quicker results than sending samples to a lab
  • Ground Support Factor of Safety Calculator software aids in designing ground support in underground mining excavations
  • S-Pillar software helps design stable pillars in stone mines

Safety innovations and training:

  • Hearing loss simulator lets users experience what hearing loss sounds like and to avoid hazardous noise moving forward
  • Innovations in enclosed cab equipment design keep hazardous dust out and away from miners in the cab
  • Practical noise controls for several of the most hazardous noise sources in mining
  • Dozens of guidelines, best practices, and training guides on topics such as hearing protection, refuge chamber use, slip-trip-fall prevention, workstation design, and dust control

The mining industry has come a long way since the Monongah disaster, but modern-day miners still face many challenges and risks, including new ones that come with changing technology and industry practices. NIOSH researchers are committed to helping miners meet these challenges so that all miners can go home to their families uninjured and healthy every day.

See the Mining Program’s website to learn more about the latest mining innovations and other NIOSH mining-related research.


McCraren Compliance offers many opportunities in safety training to help circumvent accidents. Please take a moment to visit our calendar of classes to see what we can do to help your safety measures from training to consulting.

MSHA – Mine Fatality #24

Original article published by MSHA

MINE FATALITY – On October 7, 2022, a mechanic was fatally injured when he was engulfed in material after he entered an air separator to clear a blockage.

Accident scene where a mechanic was fatally injured when he was engulfed in material after he entered an air separator to clear a blockage.
Best Practices:
  • Install mechanical flow-enhancing devices, such as mechanical vibratory devices, that can maintain material flow and prevent the need for miners to enter a confined space.
  • Mine operators should establish procedures to clear blockages and train all miners in the procedures.
  • Make sure miners wear a safety belt or harness equipped with a lifeline when entering a confined space, and that a second miner, similarly equipped, is attending the lifeline.
Additional Information:

This is the 24th fatality reported in 2022, and the first classified as “Confined Space.”


McCraren Compliance offers many opportunities in safety training to help circumvent accidents. Please take a moment to visit our calendar of classes to see what we can do to help your safety measures from training to consulting.

MSHA – Mine Fatality #23

Original article published by MSHA
MINE FATALITY – On October 1, 2022, a miner died while using a crane to remove a haul truck engine. The auxiliary line broke, causing the hook and ball assembly to fall and strike the miner.
Accident scene where a miner died while using a crane to remove a haul truck engine.  The auxiliary line broke, causing the hook and ball assembly to fall and strike the miner.
Best Practices:
  • Make sure cranes have functional anti-two blocking devices to automatically shut off the crane when the rigging on the hoist line gets close to the sheave at the end of the crane boom.
  • Make sure miners stay clear of suspended loads and use taglines when necessary for steadying or guiding suspended loads.
  • Make sure miners conduct thorough pre-operational inspections of all machinery, equipment, and tools prior to use.
Additional Information:

This is the 23rd fatality reported in 2022, and the eighth classified as “Machinery.”


McCraren Compliance offers many opportunities in safety training to help circumvent accidents. Please take a moment to visit our calendar of classes to see what we can do to help your safety measures from training to consulting.

MSHA – Mine Fatality #22

Original article published by MSHA

MINE FATALITY – On September 28, 2022, a miner died when he was engulfed in a collapsed stockpile.  The miner was working close to the toe of the stockpile to remove material off the top of a surge tunnel’s feeder to clear a blockage.

Accident scene where a miner died when he was engulfed in a collapsed stockpile.
Photo property of MSHA 
Best Practices:
  • Operators should have procedures to safely clear blockages from feeders, and train miners to stay out of areas where there is a danger of falling or sliding material.
    • Equip feeders with mechanical clearing devices to prevent exposing miners to hazards of falling or sliding material.
  • Make sure miners trim stockpiles to prevent hazards.
Additional Information:

This is the 22nd fatality reported in 2022, and the first classified as “Engulfment.”


McCraren Compliance offers many opportunities in safety training to help circumvent accidents. Please take a moment to visit our calendar of classes to see what we can do to help your safety measures from training to consulting.