Mining Publication: A New Visual Warning System to Reduce Struck-by and Pinning Accidents
This NIOSH Technology News describes a new visual warning system that reduces the risk of underground mine workers being struck-by or pinned by mobile mining equipment such as the continuous mining machine (CMM).
Mobile mining equipment poses a significant safety risk to workers who can be accidentally struck-by or pinned by the equipment, resulting in worker injury or death. Because of their severity and frequency, these machine-related accidents are at the forefront of NIOSH stakeholder concerns. Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) accident data from 2002–2011 indicates that 44 fatalities and 4,754 nonfatal days lost (NFDL) occurred in the underground coal mining industry and were described as struck-against or struck-by and caught or pinned in-under-between. An MSHA report [MSHA 2011] indicates that 33 fatalities involving a CMM occurred from 1984 through March 2011.
To address this problem, NIOSH researchers developed the Visual Warning System (VWS), which visually alerts miners of impending machine movements and conveys the type and direction of machine movement.The VWS is a simpler alternative to other mitigation strategies.