| MSHA's Accident Prevention Program
| Four fatal mining accidents occurred recently when pedestrians were struck by large, heavy equipment. Immediately before the incident, each of the victims were standing or walking in areas where the equipment operators did not expect them to be. |
In all cases, the victim had communicated with the equipment operator within five minutes before the accident. During these communications, the equipment operator was never warned that any pedestrian was near the area where the equipment was being operated.
1. Always make sure equipment operators see you before entering any area where heavy equipment is being used . If possible, make eye contact with the equipment operator.It is recommended that all personnel who work after dark, or in any poorly lighted area, wear reflective clothing. As an alternative, MSHA recommends the use of a battery-powered illuminated vest.
2. Use of RADIOS to communicate would assist with these types of situations. Easy visual identification of equipment will ensure pedestrians are communicating with the right equipment operator. All equipment should be painted with large numbers (a foot high or more) on all four sides of the equipment for proper identification.
3. Pedestrians should always communicate their position to equipment operators. Before entering an area you normally would not enter, let the equipment operator know you are there.
When moving to a different area, inform the equipment operator before leaving the area.
To be safe around heavy equipment, the equipment operator must know where you are. Therefore, you should use any and all methods of communication to ensure this. Mine operators need to ensure their employees can BE SEEN AND BE SAFE.