The Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) has put out a safety alert based on recent electrocutions in the mining industry.
Three fatalities by electrocution have occurred since August 7, 2019. The latest incident happened on September 17, 2019. Two occurred in West Virginia and one in Louisiana.
- An electrician contacted an energized component of a 4,160 VAC electrical circuit while adjusting the linkage between the disconnect lever and the internal components of the panel that supplied power to the plant feed belt motors.
- A contract electrician contacted an energized 120 VAC conductor while working inside a fire suppression system’s electrical panel.
- An electrician contacted an exposed energized connector while troubleshooting a 995 VAC flooded bed scrubber motor circuit on-board a continuous mining machine.
The safety alert lists Best Practices to Prevent Electrical Accidents:
- Lockout/Tagout circuits before working on electrical equipment.
- Don’t rush. Never work alone. Talk to coworkers and confirm your plan is safe.
- Identify and control all hazardous energy sources before conducting any task and follow safe work procedures.
- Open the circuit breaker or load break switch to de-energize the incoming power cables or conductors
- Open the visual disconnect to confirm incoming power is off
- Lockout/Tagout the visual disconnect
- Ground the de-energized conductors
- Train miners on equipment they may use.
- Electricians must know how to de-energize and disconnect electrical systems and equipment.
- Always troubleshoot without power first.
- If you must troubleshoot an energized circuit, use properly rated personal protective equipment to prevent hazards. For example, use electrically rated gloves, insulated blankets or mats, and polycarbonate barriers to prevent accidental contact with energized components.
Don’t put off training! Go to the e-Hazard website to see a list of offered open classes. The current list shows classes available through end of April 2020.
If none of those classes work for you, call us to schedule an on-site class.