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Mine Safety and Health Administration MSHA's Accident Prevention Program
Miner's Tip

Tool Safety

Safety Something YOU can live with!
Mine Type: All Mines
Category: General Safety


When in Doubt, Throw it Out

As a longwall foreman, Mike Montoya used this saying with his crew. It originated when the end of an old chisel they were using chipped off and almost hit an employee. Later, while setting timber and cribs in the tailgate, it was noticed that the wooden handle of an ax was in poor condition. It was at this point that Mike said "When in doubt, throw it out", explaining that it was not worth using tools or equipment in bad condition if they could cause an accident.

Mike explains, "It was at this point that we began noticing equipment that needed changing. Later, we were the only crew to go one year without any type of accident, injury or even reportable event. Today, I still use this saying and it gets the point across."

Reissued: 04/30/2002
Tag # AP2002-M020


MSHA extends a thank you and a tip of the hardhat to
Mike Montoya
a winner of a limited edition sticker and patch.

If you have a tip you would like to pass on, you can e-mail it to zzMSHA-MinersTips@dol.gov. If your Miner's tip is selected, you will receive credit in this space.