Citation Details

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Section: 56.11001
Date: 11/08/2010
District: NC
Negligence: Low
Injury or Illness: Reasonably Likely
Injury or illness could be expected to be: Lost Workdays or Restricted Only
Significant and Substantial: Yes

Condition or Practice: Safe means of access is not provided for the west end of the walkway on the north side of the Simplicity screen. The drive motor for the Simplicity screen extends across the walkway and miners are accessing the west end of the walkway by stepping over the drive motor. The drive motor is approximately 17 inches high. It is approximately 43 inches from the east side of the north walkway to the west side of the walkway. The motor mount is approximately 24 inches across. There is a tension bolt approximately 6 inches high on the west side of the motor mount. This condition presents a slip, trip or fall hazard.
Miner stated the motor is stepped over approximately 1 time every 4 months for changing screens.
This condition exposes miners to cuts, bruises, strains, sprains and/or broken bones associated with a fall.
The mine operator did not recognize the hazard of stepping across the motor. The condition has existed for a long period of time.

Action to Terminate: The mine operator provided safe access for the west end of the walkway by installing a step for crossing over the drive motor.

Why this concerns you: A miner typically would step over and across this motor to access the other side. The inspector was concerned about miners stepping over the motor, but just as in a lot of other cases, this practice was acceptable during previous inspections by this same inspector and also during a CAV that was completed on these screens just 2 1/2 years ago. The inspector asked to see the equipment manuals for these screens, I assume to determine if the manufacturer had offered a guard or something we did not purchase or had taken off. This motor configuration is present on many screens by different manufacturers and in this case they do not offer a retrofit to accomplish what we built to address the concerns this citation raised. I believe the safe means of access standard is vague and does not provide clear direction in this instance.

Abatement Suggestions From Industry

I'm contesting a citation that was issued back in June. We have been inspected over 30 times and no one has ever said anything about the overhead powerlines. We had signage, trained our employees and put indicators on the equipment. We had been inspected 5 weeks before this inspection by the same inspector(DISTRICT SUPERVISOR).

We shut the operation down and buried the powerline lost 3 weeks of operations in the busy time of the season and was fined a large amount.

Thank you,
Tom Pollock

- posted on 11/09/2010

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