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

Take The Keys - Save Your Life

Safety Something YOU can live with!
Mine Type: All Surface
Category: Maintenance


On October 14, 1999, a maintenance man was fatally injured at a crushed stone operation. The victim had been servicing a haulage truck in the pit and indicated to the truck driver that he had completed his work. A few minutes later the truck driver drove away and apparently struck the victim.

As a result of this accident, a coworker suggested that drivers give the keys to the maintenance person prior to maintenance and not return them until maintenance was finished. This would ensure that this type of accident never occurs again. This practice also may be applicable to repair of conveyor belts and other stationary equipment.

The practice of the maintenance person insisting on taking the keys from the operator prior to maintenance occurring on any mobile piece of equipment and not returning them until the work is finished can reduce the risk of accidents. Standard operating procedures should also include sounding a horn or alarm, checking mirrors and camera monitors (if available); making eye contact and communicating intentions directly to the equipment operator; and receiving an audible response using radio communications before moving mobile equipment..


Reissued: 04/30/2002
Tag # AP2002-S017