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Mine Safety and Health Administration MSHA's Accident Prevention Program
Safety Idea

Underground Track Haulage Safety

Safety Something YOU can live with!
Mine Type: All Underground Mines
Category: Haulage and Transportation


Four miners have been killed while operating locomotives or personnel carriers since November, 2000. A miner was fatally injured when his head struck a protruding chute. Another miner was killed when he was struck by a drifting train when the locomotive brake was released. Two miners were killed in separate accidents at the base of steep grades while track equipment was being operated. To avoid these types of accidents, certain remedies should be implemented. Underground Track Safety

  • Frequent work areas and switches along the track should have lights installed to improve the visibility.
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  • Reflective material and highly visible warning signs should be placed at restricted clearance such as overcasts or approaches to steep grades.
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  • Avoid placing doors, switches, and other installations on significant grades in haulage ways. Install haulage-way doors such that they can be opened without the need to stop and exit the equipment.
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  • Ensure that sanding devices, when required, contain adequate sand and are working properly before operating track-mounted equipment.
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  • Positive-acting stop-blocks should be used to protect persons working near haulage equipment.
MSHA urges all mines to incorporate as many of these methods as possible. MSHA believes that injuries and fatalities could be avoided in the future as a result.


Issued: 09/14/2004
Tag # AP2004-S080


MSHA extends a thank you and a tip of the hardhat to Robert Bateman, 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 Accident Buster tip is selected, you will receive credit in this space.