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Section: 56.4101
Date: 01/04/2012
District: SC
Negligence: Low
Injury or Illness: Unlikely
Injury or illness could be expected to be: Lost Workdays or Restricted Only
Significant and Substantial: No

Condition or Practice: There were no readily visible signs prohibiting smoking and open flames posted at or near the hydraulic storage tank on the short head cone crusher #30 to warn employees of the hazard. The lack of a warning sign to notify persons of the hazard could lead to a fire/burn incident.

Action to Terminate: [None stated on citation]

Why this concerns you: My concern is that there is no fire hazard with the GEAR oil tank inside the framework located at the base of the crusher.
The gear oil is part of the process, just like oil in a loader or haul truck.
This is not a gear oil storage area and the oil is contained in a closed system.
The crusher has a temperature shut off at 130 degrees F.
The flashpoint for gear oil is greater than 399 degrees F.
There is no exposure to a hazard to miners, since this a not a regularly used walkway or work area occupied by workers.
Gear oil is a class IIIB liquid and is not considered a fire hazard according to its MSDS sheet.
The MSDS does not consider it as an explosive or fire hazard.
The Hydraulic and Gear oil containments have never been brought up as an issue during prior inspections.

Abatement Suggestions From Industry

Another point to consider is the fact that a hydraulic oil system is completely sealed. A person smoking will not have any effect on the system.
- posted on 01/10/2012

I agree with the analysis here concerning flashpoint etc. and have used this same argument to get such citations vacated in settlement in the past. In addition, if this area was regularly inspected in the past by MSHA without any postings/decals, a "fair notice and due process" argument can also be offered. In essence, that because of MSHA previously condoning the condition, the operator was not on notice that warnings were required in this area in order to comply with the cited standard.
- posted on 01/04/2012

This Citation was vacated
- posted on 07/10/2012

This Citation was vacated
- posted on 07/10/2012

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