When the weather is cold, the safety risks in coal mining can heat up. To raise awareness of winter coal mining safety risks, and to help protect miners when the temperatures dip down, the MSHA (Mine Safety and Health Administration) has launched its annual Winter Alerts campaign.
Statistics show that coal mine explosions occur most often during the colder months, October through March. Low humidity and low barometric pressures, combined with seasonal drying of many areas in underground coal mines, have been major factors in past mine explosions. Colder weather also brings other potential hazards, such as limited visibility, icy haulage roads and walkways, and the freezing and thawing of highwalls at surface mines, which can make them unstable.
MSHA’s Winter Alert campaign outlines the actions that can prevent serious accidents in coal mines in the colder months: ensuring that snow and ice in travel ways are removed, salt and sand are applied where needed. In underground coal mines, mine operators should make certain that there is adequate ventilation, and should be familiar with emergency procedures that prevent ignitions and explosions.
It’s all part of MSHA’s goal to encourage employers and workers to understand that “Prevention is the Key to a Safe Workplace.”
Coal mining safety is imperative in West Virginia. The Masters Law Firm of Charleston wants you to be aware of the steps that are being taken to protect coal miners in the winter. Please visit their website at www.themasterslawfirm.com.