Wednesday, January 14, 2015

MSHA Issues Final Rule on Proximity Detection

MSHA has announced a final rule that will require underground coal mine operators to equip continuous mining machines with proximity detection systems. The rule takes effect 60 days after its Jan. 15, 2015, publication date in the Federal Register.
Since 1984, 35 coal miners have died after becoming pinned, crushed or struck by these machines. The use of proximity detection helps protect against these incidents. This technology uses electronic sensors to detect motion or identify the location of one object relative to another. The system can signal a mining machine to stop before it can injure or kill miners working in proximity.
“Simply put, the proximity detection final rule will save lives and has the potential to dramatically improve the safety of mining operations,” says Joseph Main, assistant secretary of labor for mine safety and health.