MSHA warns miners to be alert for fall hazards

Posted March 20, 2017

According to a new MSHA safety alert, 29 miners have died at metal and nonmetal mines in the past decade from falls from areas where they worked, such as heavy equipment, ladders, and conveyor walkways.

MSHA says miners should follow best practices, such as:

  • Make mobile or stationary platforms, from which miners may work, available at locations where there is risk of falling.
  • Assign a safety harness and lanyard to each miner who may work at an elevated height or locations where a fall can occur.
  • Construct stable, durable, and secure anchor points for miners to attach lanyards at all locations where a fall hazard exists, and inspect these anchor points frequently.
  • Place stable and secure physical barriers around all floor openings through which miners may fall. (Yellow caution tape is not acceptable to use as a barrier.)
  • Design work areas and develop job tasks that minimize fall hazards.
  • Mine operators and independent contractors must always comply with these four standards that help prevent falls from occurring: §§56/57.11001 Safe access and §§56/57.15005 Safety belts and lines.

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