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

Track Installations!

Safety Something YOU can live with!
Mine Type: Underground Coal
Category: Back Injuries


Drawing depicting Rail ties being unloaded Carrying heavy rails and ties over uneven ground and tracks can cause slips and falls, resulting in ankle sprains and back injuries. Whenever possible, use a scoop to unload the ties. This will allow the ties to be distributed as the scoop backs away. If you had to pick the ties off of the flat car and carry them, you would have to carry each one over the succeeding ones and each a further distance.


Drawing depicting two men unloading rails After distributing the ties, the rail car can be switched to the end of the track and chocked. You can now use the scoop to pull the rails off the car and drag them into place. Be sure the cable is as short as is practical, in good repair, and oversized to eliminate any potential of a cable whipping accident. A slate bar can be used to lever the rails into proper alignment, saving a lot of backbreaking work and reducing the rash of slip/fall, strain/sprain hazards.

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.

Reissued: 08/12/2002
Tag # AP2002-M003