A review of mining fatalities from 2010 to 2015 showed that each year about three miners fatally injured in a mobile equipment accident were not properly wearing their seat belt. Each year, miners’ lives could be saved if they simply buckled their seat belt while operating mobile equipment. The Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) and the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) are working together through their alliance to increase seat belt usage among equipment operators to help achieve the objective of "ZERO INJURY, ZERO HARM." The challenge is to reach that percentage of operators who do not faithfully wear a seat belt, and buckle up each and every time they get behind the wheel. The components of an effective seat belt policy at your site can include a variety of engineering and administrative controls, as outlined below.
- In the automotive industry, regulations and their enforcement have caused a marked increase in seat belt use. According to the National Safety Council, the national average of seat belt use is at 88%, and seat belt use is 11% higher in states with primary enforcement laws than in states with secondary enforcement only.1
- Commercial airline passengers are unlikely to forget to buckle up given the industry’s standards for pre-flight instruction with a review of printed information, lights throughout the cabin to indicate that seatbelts should be fastened, announcements when they must be fastened, and consistent staff and management follow up.
- Consider all the stakeholders that contribute to seat belt usage at your site: Original Equipment Manufacturers and dealers, rule makers and regulatory agencies, mine operators, and the equipment operators themselves.
Establishing and enforcing a clear seat belt policy at your site that incorporates the best practices of both engineering and administrative controls is a key factor in your efforts to achieve higher levels of seat belt usage on mobile equipment.
This product was developed as a part of the MSHA Alliance Program. It does not necessarily reflect the official views of MSHA. Use of the Alliance Program logo is reserved for MSHA and its active Alliance partners. The MSHA Alliance Program is to promote miner safety and health through voluntary partnerships, which provide training and education, outreach, technical assistance, and a national dialog on mine safety and health. For more information, contact MSHA at (202) 693-9414 or https://www.msha.gov/alliances/alliances.htm
1 National Safety Council, Injury Facts 2014 Edition