Liz McCormick Published

MSHA Proposes Rule to Prevent Crushing Deaths & Injuries


A proposed rule from the Mine Safety and Health Administration will be published Wednesday, September 2, 2015 and requires all haulage machinery in underground coal mines be equipped with technology that prevents miners from being struck, pinned, or crushed.

The Mine Safety and Health Administration estimates as of June 2015, only 155 of some 2,000 underground coal hauling machines are equipped with proximity detection systems. 

These systems are a technology that uses electronic sensors to detect motion and the distance between a miner and a machine. They provide audible and visual warnings, and then automatically stop moving machines and scoops before miners are injured.

From 1984 to 2014, MSHA claims pinning, crushing, and striking accidents killed 42 miners and injured 179 others.

The proximity detection systems have already been installed on continuous mining machines used to cut coal in underground mines.

MSHA has requested a comment period until December 1, 2015 on whether this same technology should also be required in underground metal and nonmetal mines.