MSHA Announces Rule Protecting Miners from Accidents Tied to Surface Mobile Equipment

MSHA Announces Rule Protecting Miners from Accidents Tied to Surface Mobile Equipment

The final version of the agency's latest rule governing mining worker safety was published on December 20.

The U.S. Department of Labor's Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) has announced a final rule to protect miners from accidents associated with surface mobile equipment.

According to a release dated Dec. 19, this new regulation mandates mine operators to develop comprehensive written safety programs for surface mobile equipment—excluding belt conveyors—both in surface mines and the surface areas of underground mines. These safety programs must also be shaped with contributions from miners and their representatives, with a focus on identifying and mitigating hazards and potential risks associated with the equipment.

In recent years, powered haulage equipment and machinery have been among the leading causes of serious injuries and fatalities in mines. In 2023 alone, 40 miners faced fatal injuries, including 16 related to machinery and 10 to powered haulage accidents.

“Given the number of serious and fatal machinery and powered haulage accidents that have occurred in recent years, the Mine Safety and Health Administration has worked hard to issue this final rule to enhance safety protections for miners working with and around surface mobile equipment,” MSHA Assistant Secretary Chris Williamson said in a statement. “As MSHA works with the entire mining community to implement the new rule, we strongly encourage everyone to prioritize training and to identify and eliminate machinery and powered haulage hazards that can put miners’ lives and livelihoods at risk.”

The final rule was officially published in the Federal Register on Dec. 20, 2023. MSHA district managers will begin stakeholder meetings in January 2024 to discuss compliance assistance within the mining industry.

About the Author

Robert Yaniz Jr. is the Content Editor of Occupational Health & Safety.

Product Showcase

  • Glove Guard® Clip

    Safety should never be compromised, especially when it comes to proper glove usage. The Glove Guard® clip enhances safety by encouraging employees to keep their gloves with them at all times. This reduces the risk of accidents and injuries on the job. By ensuring everyone has their gloves readily available, we help promote a culture of safety and efficiency. The Glove Guard® clip is designed to withstand the toughest work environments. Constructed from robust materials made in the USA, it can endure extreme conditions, including harsh weather, and rigorous activities. Read More

  • SwabTek® Cannabis Test Kit

    The SwabTek® Cannabis Test Kit is a single-use spot test designed for use in screening for cannabis compounds in any sample type or on any surface. The test is capable of identifying the presumed presence of cannabinoids in very small quantities, with a level of detection as little as 6 μg in mass. Learn more about the SwabTek® Cannabis Test Kit and the rest of SwabTek surface drug testing solutions through the webinar titled "Everything You Want To Know About Surface Testing" Read More

  • EMSL Analytical, Inc. - Air Sampling Supplies & Testing Labs

    EMSL Analytical, Inc. operates laboratories throughout the United States and Canada. EMSL is a nationally recognized and locally focused provider specializing in fast laboratory results for Asbestos, Mold, Silica, Lead & Metals, Bacteria, Legionella, USP , Combustion By-Products, VOC’s, Radon, PCB’s, Formaldehyde, METH/Fentanyl, Identification of Dust & Unknowns. Sampling Pumps, Cassettes, Media & Supplies available. Reach us at 1-800.220.3675 Read More