MSHA Offers Underground Haulage Tips

Securing and properly placing the load are among them. Since 1995, there have been five fatal incidents and one permanently disabling incident of this type, the agency says.

MSHA on April 21 posted tips about positioning, loading, and moving heavy off-track equipment and longwall shields using rail systems in underground coal mines. Since 1995, there have been five fatal and one permanently disabling accident associated with these operations, which are essential to modern mining methods, according to the agency.

MSHA listed these best practices to use when hauling large loads:

  • Secure the load to prevent movement during transport.
  • Ensure the load does not protrude into roadways and beyond the sides or ends of the supply car or dolly. Miners should not position themselves between the load and a rib or other immovable objects.
  • Do not place the locomotive operator's deck adjacent to the load.
  • Use trip lights when a trail locomotive is not used.
  • Prevent unwanted movement to a stopped trip by applying the manual brakes and constructing a dead block.
  • Maintain track in good condition and travel at a safe speed.

Materials may slide when hauling long supplies such as track rail, waterline, or beams, according to MSHA, which recommends protecting the locomotive operator by placing an empty supply car between the locomotive and the materials being moved.

For a miner's tip on shield transportation safety, visit this website. More information about moving off-track equipment is available in Program Information Bulletin No. P11-05.

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