The Mine Safety and Health Administration has issued a safety alert on preventing accidents at mines from miners falling.

MSHA said that in the past decade, 29 miners have died at metal and nonmetal mines when they fell from the area where they worked, such as on heavy equipment, ladders, and conveyor walkways.

MSHA recommended that employers put in place a series of best practices, including:

  • Make mobile or stationary platforms for miners available at locations where there is risk of falling.
  • Assign a safety harness and lanyard to each miner who may work at an elevated height or locations where a fall can occur.
  • Construct stable, durable, and secure anchor points for miners to attach lanyards at all locations where a fall hazard exists, and inspect these anchor points frequently.
  • Post signage, “FALL PROTECTION IS REQUIRED HERE.”
  • Place stable and secure physical barriers around all floor openings through which miners may fall. Yellow caution tape is not acceptable as a barrier.
  • Design work areas and develop job tasks that minimize fall hazards.
  • Mine operators and independent contractors must comply with the following four standards that help prevent falls from occurring: §§56/57.11001 Safe access and §§56/57.15005 Safety belts and lines.