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Safety Hazard Awareness Information Safety Hazard Alerts

As part of an on-going effort to get valuable information to you we are providing Safety Hazard Alerts via the internet. Some of the files will be in HTML format others will be in PDF. Please feel free to print, distribute and otherwise use these files.

Maintenance of Seals-Safety Alert - Added 01/23/2016

30 CFR 75.337(a) requires mine operators to maintain and repair seals to protect miners from hazards of sealed areas.

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  • Machinery and Powered Haulage Alert - Added 11/29/2016

    “In the past six and a half years, 51 coal miners have been fatally injured in accidents involving Machinery and Powered Haulage accidents."

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  • Bleeder-Safety Alert - Added 10/31/2016
    The proper functioning of a bleeder system is dependent upon bleeder entries remaining open and necessary controls being maintained. Obstructions such as water and roof falls can severely restrict ventilation and prevent required examinations necessary to evaluate the effectiveness of a bleeder system. Inadequate ventilation has contributed to mine explosions.

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  • Hand Injury-Safety Alert - Added 10/3/2016
    From January 1, 2010 through August 31, 2016, there have been 5,678 hand injuries at our Nation’s coal mines.

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  • Vacuum Trucks-Safety Alert - Added 9/27/2016
    Hazards due to static electricity during vacuum operations can result in accidents such as shock hazards, explosions, and secondary injuries from shocks due to falls.

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  • Electrical -Safety Alert - Added 9/26/2016
    Four Electrical incidents have been reported in underground coal mines from July 15 through August 15 of this year. In an effort to reduce these types of accidents the attached safety alert has been developed.

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  • Ten roof falls -Safety Alert - Added 9/15/2016
    During the months of July and August, ten roof falls have occurred on working sections after the roof was bolted. In an effort to reduce these types of accidents the attached safety alert has been developed.

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  • Blocking Against Motion-Safety Alert - Added 9/14/2016
    Since September 16, 2015 three serious accidents involving mining equipment and machinery have resulted in fatalities.

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  • Airlock Doors – Safety Alert - Added 7/12/2016
    Since June 27, 2015, four serious accidents involving air lock doors have resulted in two fatalities and two serious injuries. This Safety Alert addresses Best Practices for installing, maintaining and using air lock doors.

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  • Surface Mobile Equipment Emergency Escape – Safety Alert - Added 6/21/2016
    Best practices pertaining to emergency escape from mobile and haulage equipment are addressed in this Safety Alert.

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  • Proximity Detection System Installations, Maintenance and Checks – Safety Alert - Added 6/8/2016
    Two incidents have occurred where the warning and shutdown zones were not set properly and pre-operational checks of the Proximity Detection System were not being conducted in the manner recommended by the manufacturer.

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  • Stockpile Accidents – Safety Alert - Added 4/13/2016
    During calendar year 2015, seven dozers were involved in stockpile accidents. Most of the accidents involved the dozer falling into a hidden cavity created when material “bridged” over a feeder and material beneath the bridge was withdrawn.

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  • Three Coal Fatalities in the First 19 Days of 2016 – Safety Alert - Added 1/21/2016
    In 2015 coal fatalities were at their lowest levels ever. However, in the first 19 days of 2016, three coal miners lost their lives in three separate coal mine accidents. As a result, MSHA is issuing a CALL TO SAFETY for the Nation’s coal mine operators and miners to take a much needed look at compliance.

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  • Sprinkler and Deluge Piping – Safety Alert - Added 11/24/2015
    Rubber-type hoses accepted by MSHA as flame-resistant per testing requirements listed under 30 CFR § 18.65 have been used for piping in deluge-type water spray and water sprinkler systems.

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  • Confined Space Entry – Hazard Alert - Added 11/10/2015
    Unsafe work in confined spaces has led to miner deaths and injuries in the metal and nonmetal mining industry. Learn about best practices to prevent accidents when entering bins, hoppers, silos, tanks, and surge piles.

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  • Eye Protection – Safety Alert - Added 11/9/2015
    A near miss accident that occurred in District 8 and lists important information related to eye protection.

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  • Water Sprinkler System Flow Switch Time Delays – Hazard Alert - Added 9/10/2015
    30 CFR § 75.1101-10 - Time delays associated with stopping belt drives and activation of audible and visual warnings

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  • Working in the Longwall Face Area – Hazard Alert - Added 4/1/2014 (Updated 4/1/2015)
    During the past two years, two miners have been killed and an additional ten have been injured while working in the longwall face conveyor area. Included in this alert are some examples of best practices related to work activities in these areas.

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  • RFI - EMI Safety Alert - Added 9/16/2014 (Updated 3/25/2015)
    MSHA has investigated and confirmed that Radio Frequency Interference (RFI) and Electromagnetic Interference (EMI) generated by portable radios have adversely affected the performance of remote control transmitters, atmospheric monitoring systems, machine-mounted methane monitors, and miners' cap lamps.

  • MSHA Alert
  • CAT Alert
  • Contractor Fatalities - Safety Alert - Added 2/12/2015
    Two contract miners have been killed since the beginning of the year and there were seven deaths of contract miners in 2014. This safety alert provides best practices to ensure the safety of contract miners.

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  • Electrical - Safety Alert - Added 2/4/2015
    In the last two months there were three electrical incidents at underground coal mines that resulted in miners being transported to the hospital.

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  • CSE SR-100 SCSR Alerts Single Source Page

    Powered Haulage - Safety Alert - Added 12/22/2014
    8 Miners Killed Operating Haul Trucks at Metal and Nonmetal Mines Since 2010

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  • Coal Impoundment Construction using the Upstream Method - Safety Alert - Added 10/2/2014
    What is the Upstream Construction Method?
    Fine coal refuse is transported to an impoundment in slurry form and discharged along the upstream
    toe of an existing embankment. The deposited fine refuse eventually forms a beach near the existing
    embankment and above the pool elevation. In upstream construction, this beach is used as the
    foundation for subsequent embankment stages.

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  • Electrical Troubleshooting vs Electrical Work - Safety Alert - Added 9/16/2014
    A maintenance supervisor was killed when he contacted a 600 VAC phase conductor inside an explosion proof enclosure.  Also, an electrician and his assistant were shocked while testing lid switches to troubleshoot the ground monitor pilot circuit. The electrician’s head contacted a 4,160 VAC terminal.

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  • PVC/CPVC Piping Safety Alert - Added 8/21/2014
    An explosion occurred within a sealed area of an underground coalmine on June 30, 2012. The 120-psi seals exibited no apparent signs of structural damage. However, the forces from the exlotion severely damaged 3 of the 4 PVC water drainage pipes installed through the lowest seal in the set.

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  • Hazard Alert: Slips, Trips and Falls - Added 7/8/2014
    Between 2009 and 2013 there have been 4,123 miners injured as a result of slips, trips, and falls. Better lighting in the working area may have prevented or reduced a number of these accidents.

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  • Welding Lead Hazards Alert - Added 3/26/2014
    MSHA has been made aware that some surface coal operations have attached the return welding lead to the grounded metal frame of surface structures at the welder. During the welding process, the grounded metal frame of the structure is being used as a current carrying conductor. This practice has led to several accidents and fatalities.

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  • CAT Strut Hazard Alert - Added 3/18/2014
    A mechanic was killed while trouble shooting a front strut on a CAT 773E Truck. He loosened the three bolts on the pressurized suspension cylinder cover assembly releasing the pressurized nitrogen and hydraulic fluid in the cylinder, pinning the victim between the tire and the fender.

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  • Refuge Alternative Safety Alert - Added 3/19/2014
    On January 1, 2014, underground coal mine operators were required to have MSHA approved refuge alternative components (breathable air, harmful gas removal, and air monitoring).

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  • Blasting Safety Alert - Added 1/28/2014
    6 Fatalities from blasting accidents 2010-2013

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  • Accident Prevention Alert - Dated 9/19/2013
    Mine Elevators

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  • Accident Prevention Alert - Dated 9/19/2013
    Roof Falls

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  • Accident Prevention Alert - Dated 8/1/2013
    Near Miss Truck Accident

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  • Accident Prevention Alert - Dated 6/5/2013
    Ansul Fire Extinguishers Alert - Dated 2/2/2011
    Update - UL / ULC Bi-National Standard for portable and wheeled extinguishers

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  • Arc Flash Hazard - Dated 9/1/2011
    All energized electrical equipment carry the danger of potential arc flash at any moment.

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  • Arc Flash Creates Fireball - Dated 11/10/2010
    An electrical accident occurred on October 10, 2010, that caused the death of one contract electrician and seriously injured two coworkers.

  • See Alert
  • Badger Fire Extinguisher Alert - Dated February, 2011
    Update - Badger Extinguisher ANSI/UL Test Standard Harmonization Changes

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  • Best Practices for Tire Repair, Replacement and Maintenance - Dated 5/24/2012
    Three employees were seriously injured in 2012 when a front end loader tire ruptured while being inflated. The tire was being inflated in a shop and a safety cage was not used for protection.

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  • Moving Powered Haulage Alert - Dated 6/4/2012
    There has been an alarming upward trend of serious and fatal injuries involving miners who are being crushed, run over, pinned by, or struck by, moving mining equipment.

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  • Blasting Alert - Dated 5/6/2010
    This blasting hazard alert pertains to Orica Uni tronic? 500 electronic detonators date coded before November 15, 2009. Orica has issued a recall of these detonators. The Orica recall notice is included as part of this blasting alert.

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  • Blasting Alert
    On June 10, 2005, an unplanned detonation of a blast hole occurred at a surface coal mine in Indiana.

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  • Buckeye Fire Extinguishers and Harmonized UL/ULC Testing and Ratings Alert - Dated September, 2011
    Notice of UL/ULC Standard Change that affects extinguisher ratings

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  • Bulldozer Accident Prevention Alert - Dated 1/22/2014
    A non-fatal accident occurred when a bulldozer over-turned on an embankment, rolling onto a bench below. Low temperatures and frozen ground created the condition, which lead to the accident.

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  • Cap Lamp Alert - Dated 1/25/2012
    Persons entering underground coal mines shall use only permissible electric lamps approved by MSHA for portable illumination.

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  • Cap Lamp Alert
    Persons entering underground coal mines shall use only permissible electric lamps approved by MSHA for portable illumination.

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  • Caterpillar 988G/H Unintended Boom Movement - Dated 3/1/2012
    Sudden unintended boom movements have been found with several Caterpillar 988G/H model front-end loaders. This condition was first discovered during the investigation of a recent metal/nonmetal mine fatality.

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  • Compressed Gas Safety Alert - Dated 2/14/2011
    Compressed gas cylinders pose an ever present hazard to miners. Each compressed gas cylinder is a sleeping giant and must be used, maintained, and handled with great care. Since 2001, there have been 22 accidents in coal mines involving explosions or fires resulting from ruptured compressed gas cylinders, hoses, gauges, or regulators.

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  • Continuous Mining Machine Safety - Dated 4/19/2013
    Inadvertent movement of remotely-controlled continuous mining machines has been observed in cases where solenoids, associated with hydraulic valve banks, were damaged.

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  • Conveyor Startup Fatalities - Dated 8/3/2012
    3 miners died in the last 20 months when the belt conveyor they were working on started unexpectedly, conveying them under obstructions or off the end of the belt.

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  • Danger Moving Equipment - Dated 11/10/2010
    Since miners began to dig coal, they were always thinking of easier, faster and more productive ways to get the coal from the face to the surface.

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  • Electrical Connectors and Junction Boxes - Dated 3/13/2012
    Electrical connectors and junction boxes used for intrinsically safe (IS) circuits must maintain proper separation between conductors of multiple IS circuits.

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  • Excavator Blocking Issue - Dated 7/27/2010
    Raising a hydraulic excavator to perform maintenance or repair introduces hazards to persons working around the machine. It has been found that repair shops have raised and blocked the entire machine and then lowered the bucket to the floor to provide stability.

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  • Excavation/Trench Safety Alert - Dated 10/18/2011
    Workers who dig or excavate trenches are at risk of death if they enter an unprotected trench and the walls collapse. However, hazards associated with trench work and excavations are well defined and preventable.

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  • Fire Hazard Alert - Dated 8/2/2010
    This fire hazard alert pertains to BASF Meyco? MP 367 polyurea silicate foam product.

    On March 16 and 17, 2010, a mine operator was testing BASF's Meyco? MP 367 polyurea silicate foam in an abandoned conveyor belt entry of an underground coal mine in Alabama. The purpose of the test was to assess the effectiveness of the Meyco? MP 367 foam as a possible method for isolating a mine entry in the event of an emergency.

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  • Fueling Drill Rigs - Dated 11/9/2010
    On June 8, 2010, a fire occurred on a drill rig at a surface coal mine during fueling. The fuel truck operator was fatally injured in the fire.

  • See Information Bulletin
  • Gas Inundation of a Strip Mine

    Gasline and Gaswell Safety Bulletins
    Gasline Safety Bulletin #1Gasline Safety Bulletin #2Gaswell Safety Bulletin #3
    Safety Hazard Alert - Dated 8/27/2013
    Genie Z-135/70 Secondary Boom Angle Sensor Calibration

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  • Hazard Alert - Dated 2/21/2013
    Two miners were killed in the metal and nonmetal sector in January, 2013.

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  • Hazard Alert: Compressed Gases - Dated 7/24/2012
    Hazards associated with compressed gases used in underground coal mines...

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  • Highwall Stability - Dated 12/2/2010
    Winter months can bring drastic changes to the stability of highwalls due to freezing and thawing.

  • See Bulletin
  • High-Voltage Switch Maintenance
    Failure to maintain high-voltage switches can kill you.

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  • Hydraulic Hoist Cylinder Failure
    on Komatsu 680-E Trucks
    - Dated 9/13/2011
    A Komatsu 685-E haul truck was operating at a surface coal mine when the bolts for the third stage piston bearing retainer from both Hoist Cylinders failed, allowing the dump bed to fall abruptly onto the frame of the truck.

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  • Inundation Prevention Bulletin - Mine Water Inundation Alert!

    J.H. Fletcher & Co. - Information Bulletin 116 - Dated 8/6/2010
    Important Safety Notice
    Hands Off Rotating Drill Tools

  • See Information Bulletin
  • Lightning Hazards - Dated 5/23/2012
    According to the Weather Channel website, lightning strikes the earth an estimated 100 times per second and there are as many as 20 million cloud-to-ground strikes in the U.S. per year.

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  • Locomotive Cab Position Hazard when Transporting Longwall Shields
    The position of the locomotive motorman is critical when transporting large pieces of equipment, such as longwall shields.

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  • Orica i-kon™ Blasting System Advisory - Dated 7/22/2011
    MSHA has been made aware of a pre-detonation incident involving an Orica i-kon blasting system. The Orica Incident Advisory is attached to this alert. MSHA is advising every operation that utilizes blasting systems of any type to follow strict safety precautions as stated by the manufacturer, the company safety procedures, and MSHA regulations. Ensure that there is no possibility of any personnel being on or near the blasting site when the blast lines are connected to the blasting machine.

    If you have any information or concern about any blasting system having issues, such as pre-detonations, misfires, or other problems, please contact Thomas Lobb at telephone number (304) 547-2302 or by email at You may also contact Richard O'Hanlon by telephone at (304) 547-2316 or by email at

  • See Advisory
  • Oxygen Safety In Refuge Alternatives - Dated 11/20/2009
    A portable Refuge Alternative, Shelter, or Chamber will provide miners protection in the event of a mine emergency. The unit can sustain miners for 96 hours as they await rescue. In order to provide the 96 hours of breathable air for miners, the refuge alternatives are equipped with high-pressure compressed oxygen cylinders. The oxygen delivery system remains in a "ready state" until it is "deployed" by miners during a mine emergency.

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  • Oxygen Safety - Dated 8/2003
    On Saturday, August 16, 2003, a 51-year-old mine rescue team benchman with 18 years of mine rescue experience, was seriously burned while filling SCBA cylinders with pure oxygen. The victim was preparing to fill the cylinders by opening a ball valve allowing oxygen from the supply tanks to enter a Haskel Oxygen Booster System designed for oxygen service. The oxygen in a filter and the piping supplying the pump ignited combustible material within theses components. The resulting fire burned through the filter and piping, engulfing the victim.

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  • Plate Filter Presses - Dated 3/20/2013
    A miner was killed when two large hydraulic cylinders used on a press that de-waters slurry catastrophically failed while the press was in operation.

  • See Alert
  • Pipe Safety - Dated 4/17/2013
    Keep out of the danger zone...

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  • Proper Drilling Procedures Prevent Injury - Dated 5/14/2013
    Recently, a roof-bolting machine operator was seriously injured when he was struck by an unrestrained rotating drill steel.

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  • Proximity Detection Systems - Dated 8/7/2012
    2 Miners were Killed in Five Days!

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  • "RED ZONE" Alerts
  • Bulletin #1 - "It Hurts to be in the "Red Zone"
  • Bulletin #2 - "Red Zones are No Zones"
  • Remote Control Continuous Mining Machine Safety Alert
  • See Bulletin
  • Rib Fall Hazards - Dated 12/17/2010
    During 2010, rib falls killed three coal miners, and injured approximately 80 more. Analysis indicates that the rib fall hazard is greatest where the ribs are seven feet high or greater, the depth of cover is 700 feet or greater, or where the ribs contain rock partings or brows.

  • See Alert

  • Rock Dusting - Dated 3/20/2013
    Float coal dust is generated by coal mining processes.

  • See Alert
  • Seat Belts - A Law You Can LIVE With!
  • See Bulletin
  • Seat Belts Save Lives! - Dated 9/4/2012
    On August 27, 2012, the ground gave way beneath a bulldozer clearing an access road for an existing powerline.

  • See Alert
  • Stakeholders, please read ...
    MSHA is seeking to raise their Stakeholder's awareness of recent accident trends and any relevant potential hazards during upcoming inspections. Information regarding these trends is being provided in the form of Safety Awareness Bulletins, as well as one-on-one contacts with miners and mine operators.

  • See Bulletins
  • Special Hazards of Acetylene
    We are currently updating this alert. It was oriiginally issued in 2004 and needed some updating. This will be available, again, soon. (7/25/2013)
    Structural Failures Cost Lives and Time! - Dated 9/14/2012
    Recent failures of storage bins, silos and other structures highlight the need to increase awareness of hazards associated with these structures.

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  • Structural Inspection of Processing Plants Presentation
  • Training Can Save Mine Owners and Mine Supervisors - Dated 9/18/2012
    There have been an alarming number of fatalities in both Metal and Nonmetal and Coal mines in which mine owners or supervisors were killed while performing these tasks.

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  • Troubleshooting Around Line Starters
    Electrical troubleshooters need to be aware of a change in the line starters being used in a number of mining machines. The line starters are changing from mechanical contacts to vacuum contacts. With this change, the physical construction has been modified. The insulation barriers between the top lugs on the vacuum contactor have been reduced. The reduction of the insulation barrier can, under some circumstances, allow a troubleshooter to accidentally contact two phases while making a phase-to-phase voltage measurement, causing a short-circuit condition.

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  • Underground Metal/Nonmetal Mines - Fire Hazard Alert - Dated 4/27/2010
    24 UG MNM Mine Fires Have Occurred From 1/1/2007 to 3/19/2010

  • See Alert
  • Use of Chains to Protect From Fall Hazards

    Vacuum Disconnect Switch Hazard Alert - Dated 10/11/2011
    A recent electrical accident occurred when the control push rod for a vacuum bottle broke and allowed the contacts inside the bottle to close.

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  • Water-Related Fatalities - Dated 7/20/2011 (Updated 6/20/2012)
    As of July 2011, there have been 17 water-related fatalities since 2004 at metal/nonmetal sites.

  • See Alert
  • Winter Hazard Alert - Dated 12/17/2013
    During the winter season, hazardous situations can cause serious injuries and deaths.

  • See Alert
  • Working in Confined Spaces - Dated 10/25/2012
    Working in confined spaces can be very dangerous. A confined space is an area with poor or no airflow.

  • See Alert
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