MSHA recently announced that today, Tuesday, July 20th, is national Stand Down for Safety Day focused on bringing greater recognition to the hazards associated with Powered Haulage on mine sites. As the impetuous for the safety day, MSHA cites nine fatal injuries this year, which it has attributed to powered haulage, and references 185 miners who have sustained injuries to date due to powered haulage, according to MSHA injury recordkeeping. See MSHA Press Release on Powered Haulage Safety.
As part of the Stand Down for Safety Day, MSHA intends to send enforcement personnel out to mine sites with the specific purpose to “emphasize the need for adhering to best safety practices for powered haulage, vehicle rollovers, and miner training to reduce fatalities and injuries.” Mine operators should be prepared that MSHA will use this not only as an opportunity to educate the workforce, but also set the stage for its inspectors to closely examine operational compliance with MSHA’s powered haulage regulations for the purpose of issuing enforcement. The enforcement push may or may not happen when MSHA is on-site as part of the stand down, but this will be an area of increased enforcement by the agency. Industry stakeholders were told this much on MSHA’s most recent quarterly stakeholder call.
The Stand Down for Safety Day further aligns with a hazard and enforcement area that has been a focus of MSHA for the past few years, continuing from the Trump to Biden Administration. Under Asst. Secretary Zatezalo, MSHA announced annual powered haulage safety and enforcement initiatives dating back to 2018. Additionally, under the Trump Administration, MSHA initiated rulemaking efforts for a new powered regulation targeting surface mines and surface areas of underground mines.
The new rule, if finalized, would require Continue reading