Agency Takes a Proactive Approach to Preventing Mining Fatalities
The Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) recently announced it will be enhancing how it enforces its “Rules to Live By” initiative, as well as the underground coal mine exam rule standards. “Rules to Live By” is a program that began in 2010, aimed at preventing mining deaths by focusing on the most commonly cited standards that have caused or contributed to fatal accidents in the mining industry. First developed to prevent mining deaths caused by the most common hazards, MSHA later added two additional phases dedicated to preventing catastrophic accidents and preventing common mining deaths.
In creating this preventive initiative, MSHA analyzed the cause of death in hundreds of US mining fatalities over a ten-year period to identify the conditions and practices that contributed to the fatalities. In a continuing effort to increase safety and prevent deaths, July 1, MSHA is adding a fourth part to its “Rules to Live By.”
Rules to Live By IV: Preventing Common Mining Deaths includes two safety standards, one in coal mining and the other in metal and nonmetal mining:
- 30 CFR 77.207, developed to protect workers by providing lighting in essential area
- 30 CFR 57.3201, designed to keep workers safe from falling materials
Based on past performance, MSHA feels these additions should help to significantly reduce the number of accidents caused by falling materials and poor lighting. They were cited as a result of at least five mining accidents, which resulted in at least five fatalities during the 10-year period from January 1, 2006 to December 31, 2015. MSHA also offers the Rules to Live By IV Training Program for those in the industry.
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