Two Deaths Prompt MSHA's SLAM Alert

A Hazard Alert posted today by MSHA urges operators of metal and nonmetal mines to use the SLAM process -- Stop, Look, Analyze, and Manage -- for each maintenance and repair task. Ensure all hazards are addressed and appropriate controls are in place, the agency's one-page document recommends.

Two deaths in the past four months are mentioned in the Alert (www.msha.gov/Alerts/FallingToolsAlert2008.pdf): a miner killed Oct. 1, 2007, as he walked under a conveyor belt being repaired and was hit by a return roller that fell as it was being installed, and a miner killed Jan. 25, 2008, while shoveling at the bottom of a bucket elevator. A pry bar fell from the overhead work area and hit him, the Alert says.

It reminds operators to ensure that barricades, warning signs, or toe boards are installing to prohibit access and protect workers from falling objects.

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