Mining Program Area: Electrical Safety
This program area focuses on preventing electrical shocks and burns in the mining industry. Compared with other industries, mining is among the most dangerous with respect to electrical injuries. The electrical fatality rate in mining is approximately 8 to 12 times the composite rate for all U.S. industries (2003 to 2009 Bureau of Labor Statistics data). In past research, OMSHR has addressed eletrical safety in mining with numerous studies on topics such as preventing electrical ignition of fires and explosions, improving power system design, and promoting safe work practices. Current efforts aim to identify specific issues and problems that should be targeted in future research.
A recent eletrical safety study detailed eletrical injuries in mining over the past decadee, and the results will help guide future research to develop electrical safety interventions. Potential topics to be addressed include shock and burn hazards associated with switching equipment and cables, and improved electrical work procedures and training.