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U.S. Department of Labor

Mine Safety and Health Administration
201 12th Street South, Suite 401
Arlington, VA 22202-5450
ISSUE DATE: March 23, 2011
LAST VALIDATED: 03/31/2021


FROM:             KEVIN G. STRICKLIN  
                       Administrator for
                       Coal Mine Safety and Health

SUBJECT:     Reissue of P07-31 - Use of Fall Protection In, Around, or Over
                       Any Shaft and Conveyance Safety Measures

Who needs this information?
This Program Information Bulletin (PIB) is intended for coal mine operators, independent contractors, miners' representatives, Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) personnel, and other interested parties.

What is the purpose of this bulletin?
This PIB informs the mining community of the fall hazards present during shaft construction, repair, or inspection activities and the necessary precautions to prevent injury or death.

For purposes of this PIB, conveyances include skips, buckets, cages, platforms, or any other device that transports personnel in a shaft.

Personnel riding in conveyances should wear a full body harness with a short, shock absorbing lanyard, and be properly tied-off to a designated attachment point.

Additionally, when personnel are riding in conveyances, no ropes, chains, slings, or lanyards should be attached to, or otherwise hang from the underside or the outside of the conveyance. Any of these items could inadvertently foul or tip the conveyance causing persons or material to fall into the shaft. The mine operator or contractor must ensure that conveyances can travel in the shaft without tipping or becoming fouled.

In addition, where persons are required to embark or disembark from a conveyance suspended over or within a shaft, a loading platform must be installed to ensure safe footing.

Designated attachment points should be provided on the conveyance for the safety lanyard. The location of the attachment point should be carefully selected to prevent the lanyard from getting snagged or entangled when the conveyance is moving.

Before a signal is provided to the hoist operator to move the conveyance, all personnel should ensure that they and all other personnel are tied-off. The hoist operator should confirm that all persons are tied-off prior to moving the conveyance.

What is the background for this PIB?
On August 10, 2007, three persons were fatally injured when they fell from the bucket in which they were riding. The bucket became fouled and tipped over while they were being lowered down the shaft. The victims fell approximately 500 feet and narrowly missed several workers at the bottom of the shaft. None of the victims were tied-off to prevent them from falling.

What is MSHA's authority for this PIB?
The Federal Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977, as amended, 30 U.S.C. § 801, et seq.; 30 C.F.R. §§ 77.1908(b), (e), (o).

Is this PIB on the Internet?
This PIB may be viewed on the World Wide Web by accessing the MSHA home page at ( and then choosing "Compliance Info" and "Program Information Bulletins."

Who is the MSHA contact persons for this PIB?
Mine Safety and Health Enforcement, Safety Division
Lewis Kirk, (202) 693-9617

Who will receive this PIB?
MSHA Program Policy Manual Holders
Underground Coal Mine Operators
Independent Contractors
Miners' Representatives
Coal Special Interest Groups