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MSHA's Safety Targets Program
Safe Operation and Maintenance of Continuous Miners
From 1984 to 2004, twenty-nine "red zone" fatalities involving remote controlled continuous miners (RCCMs) occurred. From June 2004 to July 2008 one red zone fatality has occurred. This equates to a statistical decrease from 5.8 fatalities every four years to one in the previous four years, but even one fatality is one too many. Additionally, since 1995, sixteen other continuous miner related fatalities have occurred (eleven by fall of roof/rib, three during maintenance, one from a broken cutter bit striking an operator, and one from an operator getting run over by a shuttle car while trying to escape a roof fall), MSHA believes that all these accidents can be eliminated if operators follow the simple rules outlined in this "Safe Operation and Maintenance of Continuous Miners" package. This package has been updated and expanded from its original 2004 version to include all types of continuous miner related accidents. It is being reissued to be shared with all miners working on, or near RCCMs for the following reasons:
  • Periodically, all equipment operators should be re-alerted to the inherent hazards of the machine operation.
  • Many new RCCM operators have been hired since 2004.
  • Many RCCM operators were working in other job classifications in 2004 and may not be aware of this information package.
This information is being supplied to increase hazard awareness when operating or working around continuous miners. Every RCCM operator, helper, mechanic and other miners who work around these machines should be given this information.

Please read this information, learn about accidents involving RCCMs and about measures you can take to prevent yourself from being involved in a similar accident. The life you save may be your own.

Please share this information with your co-workers and discuss it at safety meetings. If you have questions or need additional copies of this information, please contact Michael Getto by phone
at 304 547 2303 or by email at

    Please note, due to the extensive nature of the content found on the CD's and/or DVD's we are providing you with a sample of what may be found. If you are interested in the entire content, please see the contact information above.

Safe Operation and Maintenance of Continuous Miners

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