Creating workplaces where we all watch out for each other

Creating workplaces where we all watch out for each other

MSHA – Mine Fatality #28

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First published by MSHA

MINE FATALITY – On October 1, 2021, a 25-year-old miner was fatally injured when he entered a surge bin used as a feed hopper and was engulfed by material.

Accident scene where a 25-year-old miner was fatally injured when he entered a surge bin used as a feed hopper and was engulfed by material
Photo property of MSHA
Best Practices:
  1. Design surge bins and feed hoppers to prevent blockages.  Equip bins and hoppers with mechanical devices or other effective means of handling material, so miners are not required to enter or work inside bins and hoppers.
  2. Provide a safe means of access that allows miners to conduct tasks, such as removing large rocks and other material, safely.
  3. Ensure handrails and gates are substantially constructed, properly secured, and free of defects.
  4. Don’t stand on material stored in bins.  Material stored in a bin can bridge over the hopper outlet, creating a hidden void beneath the material’s surface.
  5. Establish policies and procedures to remove blockages in bins and hoppers safely.  Train and ensure miners follow these policies and procedures.
  6. Wear an appropriate safety harness, lanyard, and lifeline, and make sure these are maintained, in good condition, and securely anchored.  Assign another miner to constantly monitor and adjust the lifeline, as needed.
Additional Information:

This is the 28th fatality reported in 2021, and the third classified as “Handling Material.”


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.