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MSHA's Safety Targets Program
Operating Underground Equipment (Coal)
Safety Awareness
This Safety Target package provides information to help ensure safe operation of underground coal mining equipment. A recent study showed that in underground coal mines, 70% of all accidents involved mobile mining equipment. Operating large equipment in underground mines is inherently dangerous. Darkness, height restrictions, narrow entries, mud, water and poor visibility add to the hazards. Underground equipment with hazard issues include, but are not limited to:
  • Section equipment (shuttle cars, scoops, continuous miners, roof bolters, and longwalls)
  • Off track equipment (personnel conveyance, rubber tired mantrips, golf carts, diesel pick-ups and haulers)
  • Track equipment (mantrips, jitneys, locomotives, coal and flat cars, and slope cars)
MSHA strongly encourages mine operators and contractors to work closely with their employees to identify underground equipment related hazards and together, develop comprehensive safety programs to prevent these hazards or provide appropriate protection against them.

MSHA is supplying this package to increase the hazard awareness of operators of underground equipment. All your mining operations should be provided a copy of this package and instructed to share the contents with the appropriate miners during training sessions, meetings, safety talks, and any other opportunity as appropriate. Effectively sharing this information will reinforce the knowledge of underground equipment hazards and increase awareness among underground miners.

This package of material does not deal extensively with roof bolter or continuous mining machines because the hazards associated with those machine types are well covered in specific safety target packages dedicated to those machines.

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.
    This package is a self-guided Powerpoint® Presentation. It is being offered in two formats.

    Some or all of the files available on this page are PDF. For more information on PDF, PDF readers and accessibility issues, please use this link.