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Mine Safety and Health Administration MSHA's Accident Prevention Program
Miner's Tip

Barricade Dangerous Areas

Safety Something YOU can live with!
Mine Type: Surface and Underground Coal and M/NM
Category: General Safety and Communications
Barricade Dangerous Areas It has become common practice to use outside contractors for mine and plant maintenance projects on an as needed basis. While this approach is wide spread in all industrial settings, it brings some additional risks in the unique area of mining. Recently a fatality occurred at a cement operation when a contract worker wandered away from his work place inside a large transfer duct. The victim walked on the crusted surface of a mound of hot dust. When the material unexpectedly gave way the victim fell waist deep into the hot dust and suffered fatal burns.

The victim was obviously unaware of the amount of dust accumulation that could occur in the certain areas of duct. Further, the victim felt it safe to explore the duct since the operation was down and tagged out.

Barricade Dangerous Areas

The regulation requires the posting of signs or the construction of barricades to warn people of health and safety hazards which are not readily obvious. Barricades are much better than signs which sometimes have an opposite effect. Signs tend to invite exploration whereas barricades prevent it.

So, if you have outside contractors or even your own people working in places where hazards exist but are not apparent, don't only post a sign, barricade the area off. It may seem like overkill but in these cases it is better to "GO THE EXTRA MILE".

Issued: 06/03/2004
Tag # AP2004-M106