District 5 - Coal Mine Safety and Health
A Near Miss
On September 11, 1999, a qualified electrician was troubleshooting an inoperative 550 VAC Stamler belt conveyor feeder when he decided to check the control circuit fuses located inside the onboard electrical enclosure. Access to the circuit breaker operating handle was obstructed by linkage. The electrician attempted to open the circuit breaker using a screwdriver. The screwdriver slipped, and the electrician's hand came in contact with energized parts resulting in electrical shock and small burns to two fingers of his right hand. The electrician had taken off the glove for this hand during the troubleshooting process.
- Gloves are required whenever miners troubleshoot or test energized electrical power circuits or electrical equipment.
- Work gloves in good condition are acceptable for troubleshooting or testing energized low- or medium-voltage circuits or equipment.
- No electrical work shall be performed on low-, medium-, or high-voltage distribution circuits or equipment, except by a qualified person.
- All power circuits and electrical equipment shall be de-energized before work is done on such circuits and equipment, except when necessary for troubleshooting or testing.
- Disconnecting devices shall be locked out and suitably tagged by the persons who perform such work (electrical).