May 15, 2013
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.