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Coal Safety Alert - Belt Crossing

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In separate accidents in August and October of 2017, two coal miners received fatal injuries after falling onto moving conveyor belts.  In both cases, it appeared they were attempting to cross over the conveyor belts when the accidents occurred. 

Coal Safety Alert Belt Crossings
Best Practices: 
  • NEVER cross moving conveyors except at crossing facilities.
  • Train examiners on how to safely cross belts (using crossover/under, belt start/stop and safeguards including those for remotely starting belts, remote cameras, guarding around the tail piece and transfer points).
  • Install belt crossing facilities or stop and start controls where it is necessary for miners to access both sides of the belt.  In addition, install pull cords accessible from the belt conveyor that can initiate a belt stop near hazardous locations (low clearance areas and transfer points).
  • Provide substantially constructed crossovers with handrails and adequate lighting at locations that provide maximum clearance for all miners to safely cross belts.
  • Maintain crossing facilities clear and free of obstruction, water, mud and other slip and trip hazards.
  • Examine crossing facilities and test functionality of start/stop switches and remote start warnings during belt examinations to verify that a safe means of access is provided and maintained to all working areas.
  • Install audible and visual alarms along the belt entry to warn examiners in advance that the belt is starting at mines with remote starting features for conveyor belts. (See MSHA’s PPL P13-V-07)