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District 8 - Coal Mine Safety and Health
Info-Grams and Close Call Accidents

Close Call Graphic Department of Labor
Mine Safety and Health Administration

August 2001

Remote Control Malfunction

Tram and function levers on remote control stations may stick unexpectedly causing erratic machine behavior. District 8 has verified that three different mines have had tram levers to stick. Small pieces of rock or coal falling into tram-lever switch wells caused unexpected machine movement. The manufacturer has supplied membranes to fit over the switches to prevent foreign objects from becoming lodged in switch wells. The machine manufacturer has indicated that this is a temporary measure until a permanent repair or a redesign can be made. MSHA's Approval and Certification Center will be investigating this matter.
    Remote Control StationTram LeversRock In Tram Lever Well
  • Maintain remote control stations in safe operating condition. Repair or replace as necessary the protective membrane supplied by the manufacturer.
  • Frequently clean remote control stations to prevent accumulations around levers.
  • All persons, including the machine operator, must always be outside the machine's turning radius and away from pinch points when the machine is energized.
  • Keep all work or travel areas free of tripping or stumbling hazards.
  • Be prepared for the unexpected! Remote actuators can fail or malfunction at anytime. Always have a plan of escape.

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This information was provided by concerned miners in an effort to eliminate accidents. Accident or "close call" information within District 8 may be shared by contacting the MSHA office at (812) 882-7617.