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Mine Safety Agency Issues Alert on a Brake Release System

  • February 1, 2017

The Mine Health and Safety Administration has issued a “safety hazard alert” on the dangers involved when the parking brake of a high-volume, brake-release pump, the A.L. Lee Corporation Man Trip Model RRB-15V, was unintentionally released and went “into a runaway condition.”

MSHA said that, because of an issue with the parking brake system’s design, its handle can be accidentally bumped, causing the parking brake to release. It said that inadequate training in the system’s operation also led to the unintentional release of the brake in at least one incident. Fortunately, no injuries have been reported as a result of the parking brake system’s design, although four other similar accidents have been reported.

The safety agency said the manufacturer is providing a kit that replaces the high-volume hand pump with a low-volume hand pump and relocates some parking brake components so that unintentional release would be unlikely.

MSHA recommended looking at the manufacturer’s technical bulletin or contacting the manufacturer at (304) 934-5361 or www.alleecorp.com.

It also recommended some best practices, including:

  • Ensuring all personnel operating mobile equipment have been adequately trained on machines they are operating;
  • Following manufacturer’s instructions on the safe operation of equipment and always ensuring the parking brake system is fully functional and applied when not in operation or when left unattended; and
  • Never park unattended mobile equipment on a grade or slope without an alternative means to block against motion.

Jackson Lewis attorneys are available to assist clients with this and other safety considerations.

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