The Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) issued a Serious Accident Alert after a miner received an electrical shock. On July 20, 2017, a miner at a limestone operation was performing maintenance on a screening plant when he received a shock from a portable welder and suffered serious injuries.
MSHA offers the following Best Practices to help prevent this type of accident:
- Do not attach the return welding lead to the grounded metal frame of surface structures at the welder.
- Insulate yourself from the workpiece, and ground yourself by wearing rubber soled shoes or stand on a dry insulated mat.
- Do not touch the ground with any other part of your body.
- Use fully insulated electrode holders.
- Wet working conditions should be avoided. Even a person’s perspiration can lower the body’s resistance to electrical shock.
- Water or perspiration may cause electrically hazardous conditions. Electrical shock may be prevented by the use of nonconductive clothing and shoes. Nonconductive gloves can be worn under welding gloves.
- Observe safe procedures at all times when working with equipment with voltages necessary for arc welding. Even mild shocks can cause involuntary muscular contractions.