MSHA Issues Serious Accident Alert After Explosion Injures 2 Miners
The Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) issued a serious accident alert following an explosion at a metal/non-metal mine that injured two miners.
The miners were welding a patch on a leaking fuel tank on a truck when the tank exploded, causing serious injuries to both of them. Although this accident occurred at an underground lead-zinc ore mine, it is the type of accident that could occur at an aggregates operation as well.
MSHA offers the following Best Practices to help prevent this type of accident:
Develop, implement, and enforce procedures for welding on fuel tanks.
Disconnect the battery and remove or turn off ignition sources before draining the tank.
Drain tanks only in well-ventilated areas, preferably outdoors.
If the fuel tank is removed from the vehicle, or if welding will be carried out near the fuel lines, ensure that the lines are drained and the vapors are purged from the lines before the welding activities are started.
Thoroughly clean the surface on which the tank is mounted.
Ventilate, purge, clean, and re-test before welding any area or space where a harmful atmosphere may exist.
Filling the tank with water to within inches of the welding area can provide an extra measure of safety.