The USA Government, Mine Safety and Health Administration has published a safety alert related to miners who were killed in confined space accidents over three years.
Between 2017 and 2020, three miners were fatally injured after entering confined spaces to clear material and obstructions. These confined spaces included a sand and gravel bin, a sand-filled hopper, and a cone crusher. All three miners were engulfed by falling material.
The USA Government’s recommendations:
- Operators should identify and eliminate or control all hazards before miners begin work and when clearing blocked material. Train miners in these practices.
- Lock-out, tag-out. Never enter a confined space until the supply and discharge equipment is locked out.
- Never lock-out using the start and stop controls. These do not disconnect power conductors.
- Assign a safety harness and lanyard to each miner who may work at material supply and discharge areas or any areas where an engulfment hazard exists. Do not use lanyards that depend on free-fall speed to lock.
- Place warning signs at all hopper, bin and chute access points reading:
- Fall Protection Required Here”
- Confined Spaces-Engulfment Hazard”
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