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MSHA News Release No. 96-011
Mine Safety and Health Administration
Contact: Rodney Brown
Phone: (703) 235-1456

July 1, 1996


The Labor Department's Mine Safety and Health Administration has launched a special effort to warn miners and mine operators about the dangers faced by customer and delivery drivers when entering mining sites and operating in an environment that may be unfamiliar to them. In the past five years, 13 such drivers have been killed in accidents at metal and nonmetal mines.

Customer trucks typically haul crushed stone and sand and gravel from the mining operation to construction projects. Delivery drivers typically bring construction or other material onto the mine site.

"Drivers of customer and delivery trucks should exercise extreme caution while on mining property as there are hazards encountered at a mining operation unlike those one may find on a typical street," said J. Davitt McAteer. "Mine operators should be aware that customer and delivery drivers spend only a fraction of their time at mine sites and may not understand a mine's work practices," he added.

Hazards customer and delivery drivers may face on mining property include congested loading and delivery areas, large stockpiles, restricted visibility, and unfamiliar traffic patterns. Also, drivers unfamiliar with the mining property may exit the cabin of their truck and place themselves in an unsafe location.

In a recent accident, a haul truck struck two persons at an Illinois sand and gravel operation killing one and critically injuring the other

MSHA inspectors will be discussing these hazards at mining operations nationwide during the next several weeks to educate miners and mine operators about the dangers customer and delivery drivers face at their operations. Inspectors will encourage mine operators to help delivery drivers protect themselves by observing all established work site safety rules and these specific precautions:

--Require drivers to stay in their trucks unless their work requires otherwise;

--Provide loading and delivery points away from mine work and other mine traffic patterns if drivers must get out of their trucks;

--Limit customer and delivery drivers to specified areas of the mine site.

--Establish and enforce safe procedures for customers and delivery drivers;

--Establish procedures that minimize backing up; and

--Enforce speed limits for customer and delivery drivers.

MSHA is the federal agency responsible for inspection of all active mining operations in the U.S. to check for compliance with safety and health regulations aimed at protecting workers.