| Seven miners have died in similar accidents in the period of 2003 through mid-2004. These accidents involved equipment that were not properly maintained by the mine operator or were not kept under control by the equipment operator. Due to the potential and the high frequency of these accidents, it is recommended to incorporate these safeguards:
The mining industry is strongly encouraged to consider and adopt this suggestion. MSHA believes that injuries and fatalities could be avoided in the future as a result. The cost to implement these practices is minimal compared to the cost of accidents.
- A preventative maintenance program should be implemented by the mine operator, contractor , or equipment operator for all haulage equipment. The maintenance program should ensure that systems such as brakes and steering are operational at all times.
- Always conduct pre-op checks to identify any defects before vehicles are placed into service. Brakes should be properly adjusted, will stop and hold equipment prior to operating and have no air leaks.
- Know the vehicles capabilities, operating ranges, load limits and safety features. Operate in an appropriate gear for the grade, load and speed. Ensure all grades and haulage roads are appropriate for haulage equipment being used. Observe all speed limits and traffic rules. Training should incorporate these issues and potential hazards.
- Operators should monitor work habits and examine work areas to ensure that safe work procedures are followed. Ensure that all personnel wear their seat belts at all times and instruct them never to exit from moving vehicles.
- Operators should assure that any contract truckers operating on mine property have an adequate maintenance/inspection program.