MSHA proposes new rule requiring coal mining companies to use equipment warning system

MSHA is now considering a rule that would require all mines to use an equipment warning system to protect miners from being run over or crushed. The proposed technology is called a proximity-detection system and uses electronic sensors to detect motion as well as the distance between a miner and a machine. Audible and visual warnings signal when a machine comes too close to a miner, and the system is programmed to stop automatically before hitting someone. The proposed rule would require companies to install the technology on machines including ram cars and scoops, which are used to move coal. “This proposed proximity-detection system rule would better protect miners from being crushed or pinned in the confined underground mine spaces where large equipment is constantly in motion,” MSHA chief Joseph A. Main said.

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