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MSHA's Safety Targets Program
Operating Surface Equipment (Coal) Safety Awareness
Operating equipment on the surface has consistently been one of the leading causes of fatalities year after year. From 2000-2008 there have been 72 fatalities involving operating equipment on the surface. When these accidents were reviewed, it was found that 19 fatalities were a direct result of operators not operating their equipment in a safe or correct manner, 14 fatalities were travelling over a dump point, 13 fatalities were dozers travelling over a highwall, 10 were operating equipment beyond its design limits or capability, 7 were due to haulroad unfamiliarity, 5 were traveling too fast for conditions, and 4 were drill entanglements. These fatalities show a strong need for increased hazard awareness and a renewed emphasis on providing quality training to all miners.

MSHA strongly encourages mine operators and contractors to work closely with their employees to identify hazards, raise awareness, and use the information contained in this package to supplement your training programs and safety meetings. 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

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