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MSHA Safety Enforcement Alert Issues Broad Warning

 MSHA Safety Enforcement Update

MSHA Safety Enforcement Alert Announces Vague Initiative

After last week’s serious incident, today brings another MSHA safety enforcement announcement and boy is it broad. MSHA’s M/NM Administrator Neal Merrifield begins the announcement:

Since 2011, 16 metal and nonmetal miners have died in accidents involving machinery and non-haulage mobile and quarry equipment, and many more have been seriously injured or disabled.  Of the 16 persons fatally injured, six were supervisors and three were contractors.  Seven miners died when they were struck by the equipment they or a co-worker were operating, four miners drowned when their equipment ran into or overturned into water, and five more died when they were caught in crushers, on drill steel or between reciprocating machinery.  The equipment involved represented a wide variety of mining equipment: drills, dozers, excavators, graders, dredges and crushers… MSHA plans again this month to continue walk and talks at mine sites and again enlist the partnership of mines, miners and mining industry groups in the effort to raise safety consciousness. Continue Reading

MSHA Safety Alert – Haul Truck Incident and Best Practices

 MSHA Safety Alert - Haul Truck Accident

MSHA Safety Alert – Haul Truck Incident and Best Practices

This morning brought another MSHA safety alert involving a serious accident. The incident happened at a Surface Limestone operation where “a miner was operating an empty articulating haul truck. The driver lost control on a downhill grade and overturned. He was hospitalized with serious injuries but survived, likely because he was wearing his seat belt.” The injured driver will be in our thoughts today.

MSHA’s best practices to prevent future haul truck injuries include:

  • Always wear a seat belt when operating mobile equipment.
  • Task train mobile equipment operators adequately and ensure each operator can demonstrate proficiency in all phases of mobile equipment operation before performing work.
  • Conduct adequate pre-operational checks and correct any defects affecting safety in a timely manner prior to operating mobile equipment.
  • Maintain control of self-propelled mobile equipment while it is in motion.
  • Post safe speed limits for the mine roads and remind mobile equipment operators to reduce speed when weather conditions change.

You can download the alert pdf here.

MSHA has been very active recently. In just the past few months they have announced an enforcement “surge” on M/NM mines, an emphasis on confined spaces and Lock Out, Tag Out, Try Out procedures, and Part 50 injury reporting. MSHA safety alerts have also been issued with increasing regularity. 2016 is shaping up to be a busy year. Continue Reading

MSHA Part 46 Online Training Simplifies Compliance

 MSHA Part 46 Online Training For Busy Contractors

MSHA Part 46 Online Training Saved This Busy Contractor’s Time

Bill McCasey of Swan Electric, Inc. needed MSHA Part 46 Online Training as soon as possible for a job. But they needed a flexible training schedule to avoid shutting down their main business. Swan’s manager decided that online training was the fastest, most affordable way to fulfill their training obligations.

Swan needed their MSHA Part 46 online training company to meet 5 requirements:

• 24/7 access to training that could be done on their schedule
• Assistance with MSHA’s complex paperwork
• Trustworthy, high quality training
• Management tools to ensure all their employees finished the training on time
• The best value for their money Continue Reading

MSHA Lock Out Tag Out Enforcement To Increase

MSHA Lock Out Tag Out

MSHA Lock Out Tag Out Enforcement Update

More information has come out since last week’s MSHA Lock Out Tag Out emphasis announcement.

MSHA inspectors will focus heavily on locking out energy sources before performing any maintenance or repairs. In particular, MSHA singled out 1 mechanical lock out standard and three electrical lock out standards that will be emphasized:

Mechanical Lock Out

  • 30 CFR §56/57.14105 – Procedures during repairs or maintenance

Electrical Lock Out

  • 30 CFR §56/57.12006 – Distribution boxes
  • 30 CFR §56/57.12016 – Work on electrically powered equipment
  • 30 CFR §56/57.12017 – Work on power circuits

MSHA Lock Out Tag Out Inspections

There is only one way MSHA inspectors can check if a company is using proper lock out tag out procedures. When the MSHA inspector shows up (unannounced as always) he will go directly to the motor control center. If any maintenance is in progress he’ll be checking for: Continue Reading

Lock Out Tag Out Will Be Scrutinized By MSHA

lock out tag out

Lock Out Tag Out Procedures Will See Heightened Emphasis from MSHA in 2016

Lock Out Tag Out procedures have been an essential part of mine safety for years. This morning, Neal Merrifield of MSHA took the opportunity to reiterate “how important it is to develop and implement an effective mine-specific Lock – Tag – Try program.”

He goes on to say, “since 2005, 28 metal and nonmetal miners have died in accidents in which electrical power was not disconnected and locked out or other energy sources were not controlled before work was begun on power circuits or mechanical equipment.” Continue Reading

What Does MSHA Stand For? And What Is MSHA? The Definitive Contractor Intro

what is MSHA what does MSHA stand forYou landed your first mine contract.
Great! … Now what? You’ve never dealt with mine safety regulations before and you’re overwhelmed with all the questions that need answers: What does MSHA stand for? What is MSHA? What’s the difference between MSHA and OSHA? How do I avoid these giant MSHA fines I’ve hears about? How do I get everyone in my company MSHA compliant and ready for work? What is MSHA training? What questions should I ask but don’t even know to ask? Continue Reading

Mine Fatalities Progress In 3 Charts

Mine Fatalities – 100 Years of Progress

Mine fatalities in the U.S. have dropped precipitously since the first regulatory agency was established in 1910. As 2015 comes to a close let’s look back and see the progress in 3 charts. All data comes from

The Long View

In 1917, 3,679 men left for work never to return home. The average number of mining fatalities from 2011 to 2015 was 38. While 1 life lost is 1 too many, we must acknowledge the astounding progress in mine safety. Fatalities have decreased nearly 10,000% in less than 100 years. Continue Reading

MSHA Part 46 New Miner Paperwork

MSHA Part 46 New Miner Paperwork

MSHA Part 46 New Miner Paperwork

Now that you’ve completed your MSHA Part 46 New Miner training there’s one last step before certification. The paperwork. It seems like a formality but did you know each and every box on that certificate is a potential $100 fine?

But with MSHA a fine isn’t just a fine. If you get too many fines in one year you can be put into the Patterns Of Violations (POV) protocol, greatly increasing the risk of significantly escalated fines.

The good news is most common mistakes are easy to spot and avoid once you know how to complete MSHA Part 46 New Miner paperwork. What is the most common paperwork mistake? Continue Reading

MSHA New Miner Training: A Part 46 Crash Course

MSHA New Miner Training

MSHA New Miner Training: Where To Begin?

There are several training requirements everyone must complete before they are given MSHA Part 46 certification and cleared to work on a mine. For a person who has never worked on a mine the first requirement is MSHA New Miner Training.

In this post, I’ll discuss the requirements of Part 46 new miner training. I’ll go through the Part 48 requirements in a later article. If you’re unsure whether you need Part 46 or Part 48, you need a definitive answer as soon as possible. You can find out if you need Part 46 or Part 48 training by answering a few, simple questions. Continue Reading

Does MSHA Training Expire?

Does MSHA training expire? When?

Does MSHA Training Expire? Yes, But…

“Does MSHA training expire?” It’s one of our most asked questions. The short answer is yes. But as with most government rules there are exceptions and nuances. To remain compliant you must take Annual Refresher training every year.

The rules differ on how long you can go without taking Annual Refresher without starting from scratch. Depending on what the mine operation is pulling out of the ground you either need Part 46 or Part 48 training. Need a refresher on 46 vs. 48? You can learn the difference between Part 46 vs. Part 48 here. Continue Reading

Essential MSHA Resources

Intro To MSHA Crash Course

The MSHA Compliance rules you -need- to know. Fast!

MSHA Tips For Mine Managers

Exclusive help from a former MSHA Inspector