UDOT FLAGGER

This state-specific flagger training is recommended for all roadway workers, contractors, law enforcement and supervisors. This is a basic course that prepares each worker to handle the responsibilities associated with Utah highway flagger responsibilities.

In the course, each worker will be required to take a short exam and demonstrate their understanding of the rules covering a flagger through a mockup of a traffic control situation.

UDOT Flagger Certification card will be issued to those who pass the exam. Certification is good for 3 years.

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IT’S THE LITTLE THINGS

Wheel chocks safety is established by more than just OSHA, the US government’s main federal agency charged with the enforcement of safety administration. MSHA, the US Department of Labor Mine Safety and Health Administration, also has rules in place to help prevent accidents and fatalities from occurring on the job, specifically at above ground and below ground mines. Mining refers to both above ground and underground operations, as well as coal mines and metal/non-metal mines. The first mining regulations took place in 1891, when children under the age of 12 were prohibited from working the mines. The US government has certainly gotten much deeper with the mining standards in recent history to incorporate wheel chocks safety, as well as many other rules and regulations.

In 2010, MSHA introduced “Rules to Live By,” an outreach and enforcement program designed to strengthen efforts to prevent mining fatalities. 2009 marked the lowest number of deaths in mining history, yet in 2010, with a mining explosion that killed 29 at Upper Big Branch Mine in West Virginia, the numbers of fatalities almost doubled. The Rules to Live By spotlights the health and safety standards that are most frequently stated after a fatality investigation. Focused enforcement was another goal to be reached.

The Rules were derived from an analysis of the most common violations that caused fatalities, as well as the most common violations of safety standards and root causes associated with these deaths. Eleven coal and 13 metal/non-metal health standards were identified and were grouped into nine categories. Included in one category relative to wheel chocks safety is blocking against motion, with another related category as struck by mobile equipment, both requiring wheel chocks for the safety of individuals.

For the metal/non-metal mining, 30 CFR § 56.14207, titled “Parking procedures for unattended equipment,” states, “Mobile equipment shall not be left unattended unless the controls are placed in the park position and the parking brake, if provided, is set. When parked on a grade, the wheels or tracks of mobile equipment shall be either chocked or turned into a bank.” A similar, yet more extensive rule exists for Coal mining. Other standards include reference to safety belts, using equipment properly, power, warning signs and safety lines.

To see that wheel chocks are mentioned in a MSHA document aimed at protecting mine workers is a great responsibility, and it just emphasizes that sometimes it’s the little things that matter.

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TOP 10 MINING DISASTERS

Mining is a dangerous industry and has resulted in thousands of deaths caused by a variety of hazards including coal dust explosions, methane gas, rock falls and carbon monoxide poisoning as well as long term health problems such as black lung.

These are the top ten mining disasters as determined by the number of fatalities, however it needs to be remembered that accurate death tolls were not always available, sometimes because bodies were unable to be recovered, records were incomplete or for political reasons.

1 – Honkeiko Colliery, China (April 26, 1942)
China has arguably the worst mining record of any country with statistics showing that miners are 350 more times likely to die there than anywhere else. There are still mining deaths occurring in China but the worst occurred in Honkeiko (or Benxihu) Colliery in 1942. When the entrance to the mine collapsed because of a coal dust explosion it trapped thousands of workers, and 1,549 are estimated to have died. In an effort to contain the blaze, the Japanese authorities switched off ventilation, and sealed the mine’s entrance, suffocating the trapped workers.

2 – Courrieres, France (March 10, 1906)
1,099 miners died (including many children) in what was the worst ever pit disaster in Europe. A large dust explosion devastated the mine shortly after 6:30am on Saturday, March 10, 1906.

3 – Kyushu, Japan (December 15, 1914)
A deadly gas explosion at the Mitsubishi Hojyo coal mine in Kyushu, Japan, killed 687 miners, making it the worst mining disaster in Japan’s history.

4 – Senghenydd, Wales (October 14, 1913)
During a time of record coal production, Welsh mining was dogged by poor safety standards with several deadly accidents happening in the early part of the 20th century. The worst was at where 438 men and boys were killed by a methane explosion ignited by coal dust. Only 72 bodies were ever recovered.

5 – Coalbrook, South Africa (January 1, 1960)
The tragedy of that is the deadliest mining accident in South Africa’s history is compounded by the fact deaths could have been prevented. A rock fall trapped miners in a section of the mine but since the mining company was not equipped with a drill large enough to create an exit for them there was no way to escape. 437 miners perished. To add to this blunder, there had been reports supervisors sent miners exiting the tunnel after earlier rock falls back into the mine.

6 – Wankie, Rhodesia (June 6, 1972)
At 10:30am on Tuesday, June 6, 1972 a methane explosion in an extraction panel underneath a mountain called Madumabisa (Wankie No.2 Colliery). The initial explosion was followed shortly after by a coal-dust explosion that swept through the mine at such an incredible speed that not one of the 426 miners killed stood a chance.

7 – Dhanbad, India (May 28, 1965)
The Dhanbad coal mine disaster occurred on May 28, 1965, in a coal mine near Dhanbad, a town in India. On the fateful day, there was an explosion in Dhori colliery near Dhanbad, which led to fire in the mines. The fire killed 375 miners. Dhori Colliery is located near Bermo.

8 – Chasnala, India (December 27, 1975)
A coal mine in Chasnala near Dhanbad experienced a deadly explosion that resulted in 7,000,000 gallons of water per minute to flood the mine and killed 372 miners, who were trapped under mountains of debris.

9 – Barnsley, England (December 12, 1866)
Several explosions ripped through The Oaks mine killing all but six of the 340 miners working at the time. Several other employees of the colliery and rescuers were killed in the blasts that followed bringing the total number of deaths to 361. A furnace man had a remarkable escape having being knocked to the ground by the force of the explosion he was discovered by rescuers, unconscious, but with a dead cat in his arms.

10 – Monongah, West Virginia, USA (December 6, 1907)
Believed to be the reason for Father’s Day, the Monongah mining disaster is the worst in American history killing 361 miners. An explosion ripped through the network of mines with such speed and force that some bodies were discovered with food still in their mouths. The official death toll is said to be very conservative with some estimating the total was more than 600 with horrific stories of workers as young as 13 being caught up in the resulting blaze.

While death and injury can and still do happen, mining safety standards have improved significantly and this is partly due to the advancement of GPS tracking used to improve miner safety.

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4 MUST-HAVES IN CONSTRUCTION SAFETY GEAR

Hard hats- Prevention of head injuries is important in every safety program. How does a hard hat provide protection? It can shield your head (scalp), face, neck and shoulders from a falling object, splashes, spills and drips. A rigid shell can resist blows to the head. The suspension system inside the hat acts as a shock absorber. The right hard hat can serve as an insulator against electrical shock. Some hard hats can be fitted with face shields, goggles and hoods. A survey conducted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics noted that most who suffered head injuries were not wearing head protection. Employers have a “Duty of Care” to ensure the health and safety of employees.

Safety glasses- Why is it important to wear safety glasses? According to a survey 800,000 work related injuries to eyes occur each year. From 10% to 20% of these injuries cause temporary or permanent damage. It is believed that up to 90% of these injuries can be prevented by wearing safety glasses. Safety glasses come in many different styles, physical makeup and usage. It is important you use the safety glasses you need for the task you are performing. It is equally important to choose glasses that fit properly and are comfortable to wear.

Safety boots (preferably steel toe boots)- In construction many people question whether or not to wear safety boots. Many think safety boots can be uncomfortable and that the steel toe will not allow for good air circulation. Safety is the main reason why people wear these boots. Most construction sites will not let you enter the site much less work there unless you are wearing steel toe boots. By wearing these boots you resist the possibility of being exposed to unnecessary hazards. If something heavy was to fall on your feet, or your feet should come into contact with sharp objects, steel toe boots can help to prevent injuries. Safety boots will also protect your ankles should you step in a hole or onto an uneven surface. When it comes to choosing comfort over safety, safety should always win.

Gloves- While performing a task that has the possibility to produce injuries to any portion of the hand, protective PPE should be used. In certain circumstances, there are exceptions to this. In some tasks where gloves can be caught in a tool or machinery and can be determined to have more of a chance to injure the hands, gloves should not be used. This should be discussed with the on-site safety professional prior to proceeding. For further information on gloves to protect your hands, refer to OSHA Safety Training Manual 29 CFR part 1910.138
This is a shortlist of 4 simple items to have each and every day on the construction job site. Remember safety is your responsibility, come prepared!

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ASHI FIRST AID/CPR/AED

American Safety & Health Institute (ASHI) First Aid CPR AED is a classroom, video-based, instructor-led course that teaches students critical skills needed to respond to and manage a first aid, choking or sudden cardiac arrest emergency in the first few minutes until emergency medical services (EMS) arrives.

Students learn skills such as how to treat bleeding, sprains, broken bones, shock and other first aid emergencies.  This course also teaches adult CPR and AED use.

This course is for anyone with limited or no medical training who needs a course completion card in first aid, CPR and AED use to meet job, regulatory or other requirements.

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