Hazard identification for equipment-related fatal incidents in the U.S. underground coal mining
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Based on the number of fatalities per year, a persistent area of concern in mine safety continues to be equipment related. Data from the period 1995 through 2007 were studied in order to identify major hazards for underground mining equipment-related fatal incidents and to perform an analysis of those that occurred over the last 13 years. Reports on equipment-related fatal incidents were obtained from the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA). The results show that underground mining equipment including continuous miner, shuttle car, roof bolter, load-haul-dump (LHD), longwall and hoisting contributed to a total of 69 mining-related fatalities. The study reveals that the major hazard for continuous mining equipment-related fatal incidents is “Failure of victim to respect equipment working area”, while the highest number of fatalities for shuttle car is attributed to the hazard “Failure of mechanical components.” The study further reveals that the highest number of fatalities for roof bolter, LHD, and longwall are attributed to the hazards “Working under unsupported roof”, “Failure of management to provide safe working conditions”, and “Failure of mechanical components”, respectively. It is determined that one fatality for the hoisting system is attributed to the hazard “Failure of mechanical components” and one to the hazard “Failure to follow safe maintenance procedure”. Finally, approaches to prevention were also discussed in this paper.
Keywordscoal mining safety equipment fatal incidents hazard
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