MSHA safety alerts: Electric arc flashes, customer truck drivers

MSHA has reported that in the last six months, 11 miners received injuries due to electric arc flashes. In one instance, two miners were injured by an arc flash while performing maintenance on a breaker box; another, two contract miners received burns while checking the rotation on a transformer.

The agency recommends the following best practices to avoid this type of accident:

  • Establish safe procedures before beginning work and discuss the plan with all miners involved in the task.
  • Electricians must know how to de-energize and disconnect electrical systems and equipment.
  •  Use properly rated electrical meters and personal protective equipment, such as electrically rated gloves, insulated blankets or mats, and polycarbonate barriers.
  • Lockout and tagout circuits before working on electrical equipment.
    •  Identify and control all hazardous energy sources before conducting any task.
    • Open the circuit breaker or load break switch to de-energize the incoming power cables or conductors.
    • Open the visual disconnect to confirm incoming power is off.
    • Lockout/Tagout the visual disconnect.
    • Ground the de-energized conductors.

MSHA was also prompted to issue a safety alert for customer truck drivers since they have been involved in six fatal accidents since 2021.

The agency recommends the following best practices to avoid this type of accident:

  •  Provide site-specific hazard awareness training to customers, including commercial over-the-road truck drivers.
  • Alert customer truck drivers to changes in traffic procedures, patterns, or road conditions.
  • Provide fall protection or safe means of access to customers who need to gain access to containers or tankers on their vehicles if there is danger of falling.
  • Provide and maintain a safe location for drivers to tarp their loads.
  • Ensure customers follow proper loading and dumping procedures.

Source: MSHA

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