New rule proposed for mobile mining machines

The Mine Safety and Health Administration has proposed a new rule with the hope that it will prevent 70 mining injuries and 15 fatalities over the next decade. In addition, MSHA believes that the implementation of the rule would bring unquantified savings to the operators of mines because there would be fewer mining accidents that would delay production.

The rule would require scoops and coal hauling machines to have proximity detection systems in underground metal and non-metal coal mines. The proximity detection systems:

— Automatically stop a coal hauling machine or scoop to stop before it would come into contact with a miner.

— Provide visual and audible warnings when a miner comes to close to the machines.

— Have a signal that would indicate whether the system is functioning as it should.

— Keep the machine from moving, unless it is being repaired, if the system is working as it should.

— Prevent electrical system interaction.

— Must be installed and maintained by someone who is trained to do so.

The MSHA wants to hear what the public has to say about the proposal. It will hold public hearings on the matter.

Between 2010 and 2014, there have been 41 striking, crushing and pinning accidents that involved scoops or coal hauling machines. Nine miners died during that time frame.

When someone is injured or killed in a mining accident, the victim or the family of the victim has a right to collect compensation. Unfortunately, fighting the workers’ comp system can be an uphill battle. However, an attorney can make the fight easier and work to get the compensation you deserve.

Source: Mine Safety and Health Administration, “Proposed Rule on Proximity Detection Systems for Mobile Machines in Underground Mines,” accessed Sep. 11, 2015

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