Winter Safety Checklist for Mines

Original article published by U.S Department of Labor

A light snowfall blankets surface equipment at a mine, including silos and a conveyor system.

Photo: U.S Department of Labor

At the Mine Safety and Health Administration, we are urging miners and mine operators to stay alert during winter months when cold temperatures increase safety hazards. Are these best practices being followed at your mine site?

For surface mines:

✔️ Clear snow and ice from roads and walkways

✔️ Apply sand or salt to walkways to improve traction

✔️ Wear footgear that grips

✔️ Check for slip and trip hazards

✔️ Maintain equipment to operate safely in cold weather

✔️ Drive slowly and keep space between vehicles

✔️ Examine equipment for exhaust leaks

✔️ Always wear your seatbelt

✔️ Check the integrity of highwalls, benches and roadways, especially after each rain, freeze or thaw

 

In addition to the list above, coal mines should:

✔️ Properly support roof and be aware of changing roof conditions

✔️ Properly ventilate the mine

✔️ Keep clean all combustible materials in mine

✔️ Apply liberal amounts of rock dust

✔️ Conduct frequent examinations

 

Help keep yourself and other miners safe by printing a winter safety checklist poster for your workplace or using our winter alert graphics in email messages and on social media and websites, available at msha.gov/winter-safety.

For tips on keeping workers safe from cold stress and related hazards, visit the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s winter weather webpage.

Many mining injuries and fatalities could be prevented with proper training and attention to tasks. Review best practices for common hazards at msha.gov/take-time-save-lives, and report accidents and hazardous conditions at 1-800-746-1553 or AskMSHA@dol.gov.


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.

Just a few minutes can prevent accidents and fatalities at mines

First published by MSHA
Take Time Save Lives sticker Seal
Photo property of MSHA

The top priority at MSHA is keeping miners safe. This year we have seen an increase in fatalities and injuries, many of which could have been prevented with proper training and attention to tasks. It is up to mine operators to ensure that miners are fully trained and able to take time to follow best safety practices that can prevent deadly accidents.

To assist mine operators, MSHA has resources available to help train even seasoned miners. At the links below, you will find:

And we will continue to add more resources. If there is something you need that is not available, please let us know using the link on the safety page. We hope you’ll help us get the word out to Take Time, Save Lives, and make sure every miner comes home safe at the end of each shift.

Powered haulage safety

Surface mining vehicles can be several stories tall and are capable of destroying smaller vehicles that cannot be seen by the operator. Traffic controls, training, and avoiding distractions are key to enhancing safety. Collision warning and avoidance systems can also help.

MSHA engineers estimate that three to four miners’ lives could be saved each year if adequate seat belts were provided and worn. Warning systems such as chimes can remind drivers to buckle up, while interlock systems can prevent the vehicle from moving if the belt is unbuckled.

Belt conveyors and their components pose serious risks to miners working on or around them. It’s important to install adequate guarding to prevent contact, provide and use crossovers and cross unders, and lock out energy sources and block motion whenever performing maintenance.

Pillar Collapse Prevention

MSHA has resources available to raise awareness and avoid these accidents at underground mines, particularly limestone mines, that can result in areas where benching has occurred.  Please use resources at this link, including upcoming seminars, papers, presentations and videos, to help you avoid the dangers of pillar collapses.

Fire Suppression Guidance

Adequate task training must be performed so equipment operators and mechanics will be able to maintain equipment, respond correctly to alarms, use fire suppression systems properly, and safely dismount equipment in an emergency.  Mine operators should provide refresher training as needed.

COVID-19


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 Videos Focus on Attentiveness, Safety Training

First published by Safety+Health an NSC publication

mshagov.jpg

Photo: US Department of Labor

Arlington, VA — New videos from the Mine Safety and Health Administration highlight the importance of remaining attentive to job tasks and completing proper safety training.

MSHA recorded 37 miner deaths in 2021 after six straight years in which fewer than 30 miners died on the job. The agency, on social media and via its recently launched Take Time, Save Lives campaign, has expressed concern over “an increase in fatalities and injuries.”

As of May 10, MSHA has reported 12 miner deaths this year, including three each related to powered haulage and machinery.

“Mining fatalities, accidents and injuries are preventable,” MSHA says in one of the videos. “Taking a minute to approach your task safely can protect you and your fellow miners from injury and death. Staying alert and focused can keep you safe. Do it safe, do it right. Whether buckling a seat belt or securing equipment, these quick safety measures can prevent injuries and fatalities.”

In a second video, the agency calls on employers and mine operators to provide relevant training to workers.

“Effective training is key to accident prevention,” the video says. “Always ensure miners are trained on safe work procedures in a language they understand. Develop step-by-step procedures and review them with all miners before they perform non-routine maintenance tasks.”

The videos remind industry stakeholders of additional resources offered by the agency – including videos, training guides and handbooks – and encourage them to visit MSHA’s website for more information.


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 safety campaign to reinforce operators’ obligation to train miners on the job properly

First published by MSHA

Photo property of MSHA

WASHINGTON – Over the past year, dozens of miners have been injured or killed in mining incidents, many of which could have been prevented with proper training and attention to tasks. This unacceptable trend has prompted the U.S. Department of Labor to initiate a new safety campaign to reach miners and educate mine operators on their responsibility to ensure a safe workplace and prevent deadly accidents.

The department’s Mine Safety and Health Administration today announced the Take Time Save Lives campaign to reach miners, promote best practice resources, and ensure mine operators have the tools they need to fully train miners to use equipment.

“The purpose of this new campaign is simple: mine operators need to take the time to train miners on equipment and safety protocols, and miners need to take time to remember their training before they begin a task,” said Acting Assistant Secretary for Mine Safety and Health Jeannette Galanis. “While the Take Time Save Lives campaign specifically highlights best practices for frequently occurring incidents, our goal is to reach miners with a wide-ranging set of resources. MSHA will continue to ensure miners have the knowledge to stay safe on the job, but it’s up to mine operators to make sure that miners are fully trained and able to take time to follow best safety practices that can prevent deadly accidents.”

Miners and operators can find training resources and safety best practices for:

  • Powered haulage safety.
  • Roof and rib falls.
  • Fire suppression and prevention.
  • Fatality updates.

Read Acting Assistant Secretary Galanis’ blog post on the new safety campaign.


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.