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

Derails at Airlocks

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


Accidents and fatalities have occurred in an underground coal mines when track mounted equipment slid into airlock doors. The causes of these accidents are usually a combination of excessive speed, dampness, steep grades, and inoperative or inadequate sanding devices. Derails at Airlocks

On most of these grades, placing a derailing device ahead of the airlock doors could prevent this type of accident. First, the device would force operators of track equipment to slow down or stop to operate the derailing device and, second, it would derail and stop runaway cars or mantrips before they hit the airlocks.

Both slowing down operators and stopping runaways could reduce accidents and injuries, but placing the derailing device ahead of airlock doors would also avoid disrupting the ventilation and productivity of the mine.

Issued: 02/24/2005
Tag # AP2004-S 90299