Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Already five aggregate-industry deaths in 2009

With not even a third of the year behind us, the Mine Safety & Health Administration (MSHA) is reporting that five fatalities have occurred in the nonmetal mining sector -- a pace that would double the total industry deaths of 2008. Three of the five fatalities involved “falling/sliding” material.
The National Stone, Sand & Gravel Association (NSSGA), in its latest e-newsletter, noted that one of the recent fatalities occurred when electrical work was being done. NSSGA also provided some MSHA advice regarding electrical work, and it’s worth repeating here:
• Be trained and knowledgeable in the task.
• Be trained on all electrical test and safety equipment necessary to test and ground the circuit being worked on.
• Use properly rated personal-protection equipment, including arc flash protection such as a proper hood, gloves, shirt and pants.
• Positively identify the circuit on which work is to be conducted.
• De-energize power and ensure the circuit is visible.
• Place your lock and tag on the disconnecting device.
• Verify that the circuit is de-energized by testing for voltage using properly rated test equipment.
• Ensure all electrical components in the cabinet are de-energized.
• Ground all phase conductors to the equipment grounding medium with equipment that is properly rated. -- Darren Constantino