The U.S. Department of Labor’s Mine Safety and Health Administration has launched an initiative to focus on the hazards miners may encounter when working alone. The new initiative comes after five mine workers died in incidents that occurred when they were working alone during the first three months of 2017.
MSHA made the announcement during its quarterly training and stakeholder conference call which had more than 300 participants.
The initiative calls upon MSHA inspectors and training specialists to engage miners and mine operators in “walk and talks” during regular inspection visits.
“Mine operators should have procedures in place so they can account for the whereabouts of every miner, at the beginning of the shift, while they are working and at the end of the shift,” said Patricia W. Silvey, deputy assistant secretary of labor for operations. “They should assess whether a particular task can be safely completed by a miner working alone, and always follow established communication practices.”