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Mine Safety and Health Administration MSHA's Accident Prevention Program
Safety Idea

Safe Rail Haulage

Safety Something YOU can live with!
Mine Type: Underground Coal
Category: Haulage and Transportation

Since 1995, there have been five fatal and one permanently disabling accident associated with the positioning, loading and transporting of heavy off-track equipment and longwall shields using rail systems. Modern mining methods require moving large material and equipment throughout the mine. Follow these best practices when hauling large loads:

  • Secure the load to prevent movement during transport.
  • Ensure the load does not protrude into roadways and beyond the sides or ends of the supply car or dolly. Miners should not position themselves between the load and a rib or other immovable objects.
  • Do not place the locomotive operator's deck adjacent to the load.
  • Use trip lights when a trail locomotive is not used.
  • Prevent unwanted movement to a stopped trip by applying the manual brakes and constructing a dead block.
  • Maintain track in good condition and travel at a safe speed.

The danger of sliding materials is especially present when hauling long supplies such as track rail, waterline, or beams. An easy and effective way of protecting the locomotive operator is to place an empty supply car between the locomotive and the materials being transported.

Safe Rail Haulage

A Miner's Tip on Shield Transportation Safety is located on the MSHA internet site at: Additional information on the hazards when transporting off-track equipment can be found in the Program Information Bulletin No. P11-05 also on the MSHA internet site at:

REMEMBER: Never place supply haulage cars with long material that can slide next to the locomotive.

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Issued: 04/21/2011
Tag # AP2011-99243