Stay alert near chemicals for health, safety: MSHA

Recent train derailments and chemical spills, including several incidents on mine sites, have increased the importance of maintaining awareness about hazardous chemicals used in mining. 

Miners working with and around chemicals can be exposed to hazards that result in injuries or illnesses from exposure to chemicals. Safe handling of chemicals can prevent accidents, injuries and illnesses. 

MSHA has compiled the following best practices for operators to prevent health and safety incidents at mine sites as a result of chemical exposure.

Best Practices

  • Store hazardous, flammable, and combustible materials in a manner that minimizes dangers to miners.
  • Warn against potential hazards; caution against unsafe practices; and provide instructions on the proper use of personal protective equipment.
  • Provide miners personal protective equipment to use, such as gloves, safety glasses or goggles, and NIOSH- approved respirators, as applicable.
  • Train miners on the task to be performed; on working with or near chemical hazards; and performing appropriate emergency response procedures.
  • Provide miners a safety data sheet for each hazardous chemical they may be exposed to during each work shift.

A printable version of this alert is available here.

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