Article by: Josie Gaskey, PACA's Director of Environmental, Safety & Health
On April 30, 2018, MSHA held its quarterly stakeholder conference call. The PowerPoint presentation used during this call can be found here and the ideas submitted by stakeholders to improve safety in powered haulage in advance of the call can be found here.
Of the 21 accident classifications, MSHA indicated powered haulage accounts for the largest share of fatalities, comprising 50% of the fatalities in 2017 and 57% of the fatalities so far this year. MSHA is initially targeting three areas: large vehicles striking smaller vehicles, seat belt usage and conveyor belt safety (lockout/tagout and proper guarding and crossovers). MSHA indicated that over the past 11 years, lack of seatbelt usage has been cited over 6,000 times. Three miners each year die from failure to use a seatbelt.
When asked if he sees a need for regulation to address these areas, Secretary Zatezalo did not rule out the idea.
Note also that seat belt usage is required under OSHA 1926.602(a)(1) for earth moving equipment such as scrapers, loaders, crawler or wheel tractors, bulldozers, off-highway trucks, graders, agricultural and industrial tractors, and similar equipment.