WASHINGTON (CN) – The Mine Safety and Health Administration plans to require coal mining operations to equip continuous coal mining machines with proximity sensors to reduce injuries and deaths.
A continuous mining machine weighs tons and has sharp teeth that spin to grind away the mine wall or ceiling.
Miners may slip or trip near the huge machines, especially when there is limited room or limited visibility, and workers can be pinned, hit or crushed by the moving machinery. A proximity detection system makes a sound or flash when a worker gets too close to be safe, and then shuts off if the worker gets closer.
The rule would not apply to full-face continuous mining machines. It would apply to both newly manufactured and existing equipment, and would be phased-in.
The Nautilus, International “Buddy System” proximity detector; the Strata Mining Products HazardAvert System; and the Matrix Design Group M3-1000 Proximity Monitoring System are proximity detectors currently used in U.S. underground coal mines to aid safety.
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