MSHA Alert: Drill Safety

| Published on May 15, 2013


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The Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) has released an accident prevention alert following a recent injury. The incident involved a roof bolting machine operator who was seriously injured when he was struck by an unrestrained drill steel.

MSHA recommends the following best practices for drilling:

  • Stop rotation 1 foot before exiting the hole.

  • Ensure that mast type roof bolting machines have drill guides (hydraulic or mechanical) and deep well chucks.

  • Never touch or hold onto a rotating drilling tool, wrench or bolt.

  • Ensure that proper drill feed and rotation pressures are being used. Pressures should be only as high as necessary to efficiently drill the roof.

  • To prevent whipping drill steels, drill rotation speed should never exceed 700 rpm (unless the manufacturer recommends a higher rate).

  • Ensure that emergency shut-off switches (panic bars) are properly working.

  • Properly maintain drill guides on mast feed roof bolting machines.

  • Perform thorough exams of drill guides and all safety equipment on roof bolting machines.

  • Ensure task training covers the use of drill guides as well as other proper drilling.

To view the full accident report, click here.

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