MSHA initiative to combat the deadliest month in mining

With cooler days on the horizon, October is often the month that mines begin annual shutdown activities, ranging from disassembling of portable plants and relocation of equipment to, for mines that operate full time, annual repairs. Unfortunately, October is also a month of high fatalities in the metal and nonmetal mining industry. This year, MSHA has launched an initiative to help combat the historically high death rates that occur during the month of October. The initiative includes enhanced enforcement and education and outreach, such as informational “walk and talks” at mine sites. Coal enforcement and personnel from MSHA’s Educational Field and Small Mines Services will assist in these activities by talking to mine operators and miners and calling attention to potentially hazardous tasks and conditions and best mining practices.

Best practices include:

  • Identifying hazards through effective workplace exams
  • Controlling hazards through a detailed work plan
  • Providing effective task training based on the work plan
  • Locking out and blocking equipment against hazardous motion
  • Providing necessary PPE

For more information, check out this article.