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Raising the Red Flag

In the first couple of weeks of the pro football season, two incidents raised a red flag. The first one occurred when the head coach waited for confirmation from the spotters in the booth to confirm that the previous play needed reviewing. He waited until only seconds remained before the next play was started and finally threw out the signal flag to request the review. None of the officials saw the flag (which is red) until after the ball was snapped. The final ruling by the officials was that the coach had waited too long and the play would not be reviewed. The second one was nearly the same except that another coach threw in the red flag to request a review but the final ruling in this case was that the coach didn't have the right to ask for a review of that particular type of call.

When a hazard is discovered or even suspected at the mine, what is the proper course of action for a miner to take? Should he wait and see if someone else will take care of it? Should he find out if he the one who is supposed to report it? Of coarse not, we are dealing with life and death, not the outcome of a game. Whenever a hazard is spotted or even suspected, the problem must always be reviewed. Never hesitate to throw the red flag.

MSHA is soliciting short stories of near misses and saves that were made possible by someone raising the red flag, throwing the red flag, or whatever warning metaphor you like. We are not looking for finger pointing or negative stories about warning that were ignored (I told you so.), but positive ones about the miner who did the right thing and possibly save himself or a fellow miner from injury or worse. Submittals may be e-mailed to zzMSHA-MinersTips@dol.gov. Each month, the best story will be posted on the www.msha.gov web site and you will receive will receive recognition for your contribution both on the site and in any hardcover publications.