Through the use of new technology, the mining industry is realizing gains in the areas of employee safety and health. MSHA is promoting the use of new technologies to prevent accidents, illnesses, and injuries to miners. The projects outlined below were facilitated by MSHA based on an analysis of the root causes of accidents and illnesses. In many cases, we have partnered with equipment manufacturers to assist us in developing products to enhance safety and health to the miner. Many of the projects are currently under development and are not commercially available for use in the mining industry. As these products become commercially available, a notice will be posted in this section. This section of the MSHA web site is dedicated to technologies that have the potential to improve safety and health. We encourage mine operators to further explore these technologies.
Better Lighting for Metal-Nonmetal In-Mine Preblast OperationsAccidents in metal-nonmetal mines have occurred that indicate the need for improved lighting while performing preblast loading operations. An engineering study was conducted to determine the feasibility of installing supplemental lighting on underground mining lift equipment used in blast hole loading operations. The study identified two types of lighting systems that could be installed on lift equipment to significantly improve the ability of miners to judge the integrity of the mine roof and back.
Blind Area Elimination: Video Cameras on Surface Haulage Equipment
Collision Avoidance & Proximity Detection
An update on available technologies that can reduce the number and severity of equipment impact related incidents at surface and underground mines.
Proximity DectectionProximity detection is a technology that can be installed on mobile machinery to detect the presence of personnel or machinery within a certain distance of the machine. Proximity detection systems can be programmed to send warning and machine shutdown commands when the programmed areas are encroached. MSHA has assisted the industry in the development of this technology on a variety of mobile machinery, both underground and surface.
Surge Pile Accident PreventionOperating a dozer pushing coal on a surge pile has been called the most dangerous job at preparation plants. In just over a year, two bulldozer operators have died performing this job. They lost their lives when their bulldozers fell into hidden voids, and they were buried in coal and could not escape. This initiative details best practices to significantly reduce, if not eliminate, surge pile fatalities. See also: Status Report "Stronger Dozer Cab Windows: A Way to Improve Surge-Pile Safety" - File is PDF.
See also: West Virginia Regulation - This regulation took effect January 1, 2001.
See also: Streaming Windows Media