MSHA publishes excavator guidance

Therese Dunphy

July 20, 2010

On July 13, the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) published a new bulletin, Program Information Bulletin No. P10-09, regarding safety measures to be taken while operating excavators.

MSHA notes that it is “particularly concerned with preventing excavator accidents by implementing proper protective measures.” It suggests a minimum bench width of 25 feet, noting a work area examination is necessary to determine if this width is sufficient.

Other guidance includes the following:

equipping excavators with appropriate length booms, dippers, and other related attachments to ensure the excavator and its operator remain as far from the highwall base as possible during scaling oeprations; and

utilizing rock deflectors or similar attachments to protect the excavator from falling material.

Finally, MSHA suggests that operators contact their OEMs regarding the availability of ROPs and FOPs structures for retrofitting existing equipment.

To view the bulletin, visit

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