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MSHA issues warning on mobile devices

Arlington, VA – Due to the deaths of six miners who were struck by mobile equipment in underground production areas, the Mine Safety and Health Administration has issued a safety alert.

The agency cites four of the incidents, including one in which two miners were fatally injured when a locomotive collided with the personnel carrier carrying them. In addition to the six fatalities, 61 miners sustained injuries that resulted in lost work time.

MSHA best practices for operating or working near mobile equipment:

  • When approaching danger areas and before driving through ventilation curtains or fly screens, intersections and blind bends, reduce speed and activate audible signals.
  • Communicate your position and planned movements to mobile device operators and wait for their confirmation before moving.
  • Wear reflective clothing.
  • Install and maintain clear ventilation curtains or fly screens at all intersection points.
  • Instruct mine operators to evaluate and consider implementing available and emerging technologies, including proximity detection systems.
  • Provide handheld radios for workers on foot or exiting a vehicle.
  • Minimize pedestrian traffic on known transportation routes.