Creating workplaces where we all watch out for each other

Creating workplaces where we all watch out for each other

MSHA – Mine Fatality #26

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First published by MSHA

MINE FATALITY – On September 15, 2021, a 33-year-old contract welder was fatally injured when he crawled 40 feet into a 30-inch-diameter stainless-steel pipe.  The victim was welding a joint from the outside of the pipe, and then entered the pipe to troubleshoot issues related to argon gas leakage.  Coworkers found him unresponsive.

Accident scene where a contract welder was fatally injured when he crawled 40 feet into a 30-inch-diameter stainless-steel pipe
Photo property of MSHA
Best Practices:
  • Remove dangerous working materials and gasses by means of a high volume of fresh airflow before entering confined spaces.
  • Assess risks and hazards before beginning work activities to determine what personal protective equipment (PPE) and atmospheric testing is needed prior to entry and during work execution.
  • Test atmospheres from a safe location with a calibrated gas monitor capable of detecting harmful and noxious gasses before entering and continuously while working in confined spaces.
  • Designate a miner to maintain contact with the miner entering a confined space in the form of visual or voice contact, or signal lines.
  • Ensure miners use the appropriate PPE, including dry, flame-retardant clothing and respiratory protection equipment, such as powered air-purifying respirators.
  • Train miners to identify confined spaces and understand their associated hazards.
Additional Information:

This is the 26th fatality reported in 2021, and the first classified as “Other.”


McCraren Compliance offers many opportunities in safety training to help circumvent accidents. Please take a moment to visit our calendar of classes to see what we can do to help your safety measures from training to consulting.