MSHA Alert: Blast Safety

April 9, 2013

Blast SafetyThe Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) has released the investigation report on a March 27, 2013, fatality at a crushed stone operation. The incident involved a 61-year-old loader operator with 24 years of experience who was killed when broken rock from a blast struck the front-end loader and covered it.

MSHA recommends the following best practices for blasting:

  • Do not initiate a blast until it has been determined that all persons have been evacuated from the blast area.

  • Establish and discuss safe work procedures. Identify and control all hazards associated with the work to be performed along with the methods to properly protect persons.

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

  • Maintain and use all available methods of communication, such as sirens and radios, to warn persons of an impending blast. Establish methods to ensure that all persons are out of the blast area.

  • Before firing a blast give ample warning to allow all persons to be evacuated.

  • Guard or barricade all access routes to the blast area to prevent the passage of persons or vehicles.

  • Verify that the blasting procedures are effective and being followed at all times.

To view the full accident report, click here.

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