The U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) published a final rule that requires mine operators to have written safety programs for surface mobile equipment, excluding belt conveyors, at surface mines and the surface areas of underground mines. The agency requires that mine operators develop programs, implement them, and update them when necessary. The written safety program must be developed and updated with input from miners and their representatives. The written safety program must include actions mine operators will take to identify hazards and risks to reduce accidents, injuries, and fatalities related to surface mobile equipment.

In recent years, powered haulage equipment and machinery have been the leading causes of serious and fatal mine accidents. “Given the number of serious and fatal machinery and powered haulage accidents that have occurred in recent years, MSHA has worked hard to issue this final rule to enhance safety protections for miners working with and around surface mobile equipment,” said Assistant Secretary for Mine Safety and Health Chris Williamson. “As MSHA works with the entire mining community to implement the new rule, we strongly encourage everyone to prioritize training and to identify and eliminate machinery and powered haulage hazards that can put miners’ lives and livelihoods at risk.”

The agency said the final rule offers mine operators flexibility to devise a safety program that is appropriate for their specific mining conditions and operations. It becomes effective January 19, 2024, but compliance is not required until July 17, 2024.

 

 

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