According to MSHA powered haulage data, 2021 has had the highest number of powered haulage fatalities since 2006. Safety is the key priority for any mine, so in response to these tragedies, MSHA staff met with miners and operators to underline the need for adhering to best safety practices for powered haulage and vehicle rollovers, as well as emphasize the importance of miner training.
Steps to keep workers safe also included the proposal over a new rule for powered haulage mobile equipment, that would require mine operators that employ six or more miners to design a written safety program. Mine operators would have flexibility when it comes to devising their safety programs to meet the needs of their specific mining conditions, but what do MSHA accident prevention rules suggest when it comes to powered haulage equipment safety guidance?
MSHA Accident Prevention
For MSHA mobile equipment, there are a number of rules in place that mine operators should consider when designing their powered haulage equipment safety plan. Firstly, speed restrictions must be enforced that are consistent with the conditions at a mining site, and secondly, mobile equipment that is not in motion must be stored in a safe location that prevents it from moving and becoming a hazard.
MSHA Powered Haulage Safety Initiative
In a guidance document provided by the MSHA, best practices are outlined regarding improving visibility, communication, traffic management, seat belt use, dumping practices, equipment guards, working around belt conveyors and crossover safety. There is also guidance for conveyor design, installation, and maintenance, as well as pre-operational examination of equipment.
The document contains links to video and training resources that will help mines to recognize, control, and abate hazards that cause powered haulage accidents.
According to Carroll Technologies president, Allen Haywood: “Designing a safety program could include things such as designated areas, as well as warnings of equipment and personnel being active, possibly with the use signage. There are different ways that each operation can come up with a plan to help the safety aspect of collisions with personnel or equipment.”
MSHA proximity rule
In 2015, MSHA published a rule that required underground coal mine operators to equip continuous mining machines with collision avoidance systems.
Collision avoidance systems involve tracking vehicles, moving equipment and personnel to establish safe zones, trigger collision alerts, and provide operators with proximity awareness without distracting them from their task. These systems are particularly important when it comes to heavy powered haulage equipment, especially when adverse environments may impair visibility.
As experts in mining safety, Carroll Technologies supplies collision avoidance solutions that can be customized for your mining operation, offering a range of products such as PBE’s dash-mounted collision avoidance system. Find out more here about how products supplied through Carroll Technologies can keep your mining operation safe, along with the company’s repair and installation services.
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