Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) recently sent a letter to Metal and Non-Metal operators stating the following:
“MSHA will stress the importance of concentrating on effective lockout procedures by focusing additional resources on increased enforcement and education and outreach, including walk-and-talks” by inspectors and the agency’s Educational Field and Small Mines Services unit.
MSHA provides insight on best-practices regarding lock-out/tag-out policies:
“A Lock-Tag-Try program ensures that all energy sources are isolated before electrical or mechanical work is performed and protects miners from the dangers of an uncontrolled, unplanned release of energy. An effective Lock-Tag-Try program consists of disconnecting power and locking the switch; attaching an identifying tag; and, trying to start the equipment or test for power.
A critical element of a Lock-Tag-Try program is verifying that the correct equipment has been effectively locked out. Before beginning work, best practices include trying to start or operate mechanical equipment to assure it is off and blocked against hazardous motion and for electricians to test power circuits to assure they are de-energized. A good rule of thumb is: “It’s not locked out until you’ve tried it out!””
For more information regarding the greater enforcement changes and how to prepare for it, contact Blakeman & Associates.