MSHA Issues Advice for Miners Working in Frigid Temperatures

SOURCE: MSHA | March 1, 2024

Miners who work in cold temperatures are at risk for cold stress, which may trigger hypothermia, frostbite, and other injuries and illnesses.

When working in the cold, the Mine Safety and Health Administration says miners should:

  • Wear appropriate clothing, ensuring it allows the proper range of motion for the work.
  • Monitor their physical condition and that of their co-workers.
  • Take breaks in warm locations.
  • Stock first aid kits with chemical hot packs.
  • Refrain from touching cold metal surfaces with bare skin.

MSHA cautions that some portable heaters may emit carbon monoxide, a potentially fatal hazard. The odorless and colorless gas can accumulate in confined spaces and enclosed areas such as the cabs of vehicles, work trailers and unventilated areas. Safety tips include:

  • Regularly inspect vehicle exhaust systems for leaks or other damage.
  • Make sure monitors and audible alarm systems are installed wherever carbon monoxide may be a hazard.
  • Properly ventilate work areas.
  • Keep paths of travel free of ice and debris.

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