MSHA Cautions Miners about Dangers of Working Alone
An MSHA initiative launched in May encourages agency inspectors and training specialists to engage with miners and mine operators to raise awareness about the potential dangers of working alone. The campaign, which was developed in response to the deaths of five miners in the first three months of 2017, focuses on the importance of accounting for workers at all times. All five workers died in accidents that occurred when they were working alone on mine property. “Mine operators should have procedures in place so they can account for the whereabouts of every miner, at the beginning of the shift, while they are working and at the end of the shift,” said Patricia W. Silvey, MSHA’s deputy assistant secretary of labor for operations. MSHA seeks to provide mine operators with best practices for individuals working alone, including identifying hazards before beginning any task, not taking shortcuts, and using customary check-in and check-out procedures. Operators should also assess whether miners have adequate training, knowledge, skills, and equipment to do a task safely and consider whether the individuals need help to complete the work. Learn more on MSHA’s website.