As with many safety-related incidents in mining, powered haulage accidents are low-frequency, high-consequence scenarios. According to the Mine Safety and Health Administration's (MSHA) website, powered-haulage accidents are the leading cause of fatalities in the mining industry. Specifically, they accounted for 14 of the 28 US mining fatalities in 2017. So far in 2018, more than half of the US mining fatalities have been related to powered-haulage, raising the need for additional awareness around this topic. Fatalities are occurring in the coal and metal/nonmetal subsectors, indicating that collaboration across the mining subsectors could be useful to determine appropriate solutions to these site hazards.
MSHA has made the prevention of powered haulage accidents a priority for 2018 and beyond, with an initial focus on three areas: large vehicles striking smaller ones and pedestrians; seat belt usage; and conveyor belt safety. As a part of this priority, MSHA posted a request for information (RFI, Docket No. MSHA-2018-0016) on June 26, 2018 with a closing date of December 24, 2018. The purpose of this RFI was to seek suggestions from stakeholders about best practices, training materials, policies, and technologies that may improve safety outcomes around mobile equipment and while working near conveyors.
To date, public responses have been posted on their webpage. Mine stakeholders have shared site-specific advancements in back-up cameras, proximity detection systems, seat belt interlocks, and more emphasis on operator and worker situational awareness of these potential hazards. Whether or not more formal guidance stems from this RFI is unknown; however, several responses have focused on creating more specific training and improving signaling and communication with those on site. In order to proactively identify risks associated with mobile equipment and change working practices while operating equipment or working around conveyor belts, it is clear that a change in organizational attention and worker awareness around these topics is a step in the right direction.
 https://www.msha.gov/powered-haulage-safety-%E2%80%93-stakeholder-feedbackArticle written by: Emily J. HaasSME H&S Division's Communications Chair
I was asked if the H&S Division would collect comments and submit input to this RFI on behalf of SME members. Yes, the Division will coordinate member input related to H&S matters. If you would like to comment on this RFI as a member of SME, please provide your comments via this thread for discussion amongst the members. A member of the H&S Division will aggregate the final input and coordinate with SME staff to submit comments to the RFI. Please note, SME is permitted to comment on regulations but not legislation.NOTE: I serve as the H&S Division Chair as an official duty as a NIOSH employee. As such, I will abstain from coordinating or commenting on this matter to avoid any confusion regarding the genesis of SME's input.