MSHA Seeks Technology To Improve Miner Safety

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) is seeking data on technologies that can improve safety conditions for America’s miners. MSHA’s Request for Information (RFI) focuses on reducing accidents involving mobile equipment at surface mines as well as belt conveyors at surface and underground mines. The RFI is available at the Federal Register.

“The Trump Administration is committed to the health and safety of America’s miners. Through the deployment of modern technologies, such as proximity detection, we can help ensure that miners return home safely at the end of their shifts,” said Assistant Secretary of Labor for Mine Safety and Health David G. Zatezalo. “MSHA is also interested in learning more about how seat belts can be more widely used in mining operations to prevent injuries.”

Mobile equipment at surface operations includes bulldozers, front-end loaders and trucks, while belt conveyors are used to transport materials in surface and underground mines.

The RFI is part of a larger initiative that MSHA is undertaking to reduce accidents involving powered haulage – which includes haul trucks, front-end loaders and other large vehicles – as well as belt conveyors.

As part of this effort, MSHA said it plans to hold stakeholder meetings and will provide technical assistance, and develop best practices and training materials to raise awareness of hazards related to mobile equipment and belt conveyors. The agency said it may also consider engineering controls that increase the use of seat belts, enhance equipment operators’ ability to see all areas near the machine, warn equipment operators of potential collision hazards, prevent an equipment operator from driving over the edge of a highwall or dump point, and help prevent hazards related to working near moving belt conveyors.

The Federal Register will publish a separate notice at a later date in which MSHA will announce the dates and locations of stakeholder meetings.