MSHA Raises Awareness after Five Lone-Worker Fatalities in Three Months

The agency is reaching out to those who work alone.

The federal Mine Safety and Health Administration announced it has launched an initiative to focus on the hazards miners face when working in isolation. The initiative comes after five miners died in lone worker situations within the first three months of 2017.

MSHA inspectors and training specialists will now talk to miners and mine operators in "walk and talks" during regular inspection visits.

"Mine operators should have procedures in place so they can account for the whereabouts of every miner, at the beginning of the shift, while they are working, and at the end of the shift," said Patricia W. Silvey, deputy assistant secretary of labor for operations. "They should assess whether a particular task can be safely completed by a miner working alone and always follow established communication practices."

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