MSHA issues safety alert after rash of electrocutions

The U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration is reminding miners to stay clear of the line of electrical fires after three miners were electrocuted in a 10-day period.

The agency said that, on January 27, two truck drivers were electrocuted after an overhead power line came in contact with their trucks. They exited their cabs only to come in contact with the electrical energy.

Just days later on February 6, a haul truck driver raised the truck’s bed into an overhead power line. When the driver exited the truck to extinguish a fire on the truck’s tire, he was electrocuted upon reentry.

MSHA has issued a number of best practices for operations to prevent further similar incidents. They include:

  • Do not stage, park or position trucks, cranes, or other equipment under overhead power lines.
  • Post warning signs at all approaches to overhead power lines; install barricades where necessary.
  • Establish safe approaches and create safe zones for raising and lowering truck beds, booms, and masts.

Additionally, the regulator said that, if a truck, boom or mast contacts an overhead power line:

  • Remain inside the vehicle.
  • Call emergency response personnel.
  • Inform others to stay away.

Exit the truck only if it is on fire. To exit, jump from the truck landing with both feet together. Do not touch the truck and ground at the same time. Then, shuffle both feet as close as possible for at least 30 feet as you move away from the truck.

Source: MSHA 

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