Follow these best practices for safe crushing operations

November 29, 2013


Safe crushing operations are possible when everyone works together. It is important that operators look out for potential hazards, and protect themselves and others by wearing protective gear and following safe work practices.

The Mining Safety and Health Administration reported that, of the four fatal accidents to occur from July through September (the most recent quarter to be reported), two of those were powered haulage fatalities, which includes crusher-related incidents.

Accidents involving crushers can be prevented with regular cleaning, inspections and maintenance, along with a few other best practices.

Follow these best practices to avoid crusher-related accidents:

  • Establish and discuss policies and procedures for safely clearing a crusher. Consider a mechanical method for clearing material to minimize exposure to persons performing the work.

  • Task train persons to recognize all potential hazardous conditions and to understand safe job procedures for elimination of the hazards before beginning work.

  • Before working on or near equipment, ensure the equipment is powered off and locked out/tagged out. Ensure the equipment has been securely blocked against hazardous motion to ensure energy cannot be released while performing work.

  • Always maintain equipment in a safe operating condition.

  • Provide a safe means of access for persons required to maintain a crusher.

  • Provide guards, shields or other devices to protect persons from the hazard of flying or falling materials generated from the operation of screens, crushers or conveyors.

  • Implement measures to ensure persons are properly positioned and protected from hazards while performing a task.

Best practices were compiled by Therese Dunphy as part of “Safety Watch” in the November 2013 print issue of Aggregates Manager.

For more of MSHA’s crusher-related best practices, read our report on third quarter fatalities.

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