The Mine Safety and Health Administration has issued an alert on the importance of employing an effective check-in/check-out system in metal and nonmetal underground mines that lets employers know how many people are underground.
“Each tag represents a human life,” said MSHA.
The agency said, “In day-to-day operations, your Check-in/Check-out system ensures blasting underground can take place without exposing miners to high risk hazards that include oxygen deficiency, gases and blast concussions. In the event of an emergency situation, it provides a method to ensure all workers are accounted for, and may trigger the deployment of mine rescue teams for missing workers.”
MSHA’s list of best practices includes:
- Every person entering the underground operations must ensure they have placed their personal tag on the tag board before descending underground.
- Someone should be designated to check the tag board to confirm everyone from the previous shift has checked out.
- Every miner that reaches the surface must ensure they remove their personal tag from the tag board.
- The supervisor in charge of blasting should ensure the check-in/check-out board is cleared before allowing the blast.
MSHA emphasized, “Your mine’s check-in/check-out system cannot be taken lightly. Lives depend on the system being used accurately and consistently.”