MSHA has released a safety alert that emphasises the importance of seasonal safety this month, with the holiday season approaching. Slips, trips and falls accounted for 19% of injuries in the aggregates industry during 2014, according to a new safety alert from NSSGA and the MSHA Alliance. With increasingly cold weather, this risk is only increased.
MSHA recommends that each miner take a minute to consider the hazards at his or her workplace, and then implement the needed precautions to prevent them.
The agency offers best practices in the alert, including:
- Task train all persons to recognise all potential hazardous conditions that can decrease bank or slope stability, and ensure that they understand safe job procedures for elimination of the slopes
- Train persons to recognise the hazards of working near belt conveyors
- De-energise and block belt conveyors against motion before working near a chute, drive, head, tail or take-up pulley
- Lock-out and tag-out all energy sources to belt conveyors before working on them
- Always use fall protection when working where a fall-to-below hazard exists.
- Establish policies and procedures for safely clearing plugged material in a jaw crusher
- Maintain and use all available methods of communication, such as sirens and radios, to warn persons of an impending blast. Establish methods to ensure that all persons are out of the blasting area
- Always wear a life jacket where there is a danger of falling into the water.
The National Stone, Sand and Gravel Association backs the advice and encourages all operators to review the alert so they can be prepared to work safely, and demonstrate full compliance with standards addressed in the above-mentioned best practices, said Joseph Casper, National Stone, Sand and Gravel Association vice president of safety.
“It is critical that at this time of year, workers make sure that their minds are focused on their tasks so that the holidays can be fully enjoyed with all family and loved ones,” he said.