MSHA – Mine Fatality #6

First published by MSHA.

MINE FATALITY – On March 5, 2021, a miner was fatally injured when the excavator he was operating rolled over into a body of water.

Accident scene where a miner was fatally injured when the excavator he was operating rolled over into a body of water.
Best Practices:
  • Construct berms or install guardrails on roadways where a drop-off exists.  Ensure berms and guardrails are at least as high as the mid-axle height of the largest equipment using the roadway.
  • Examine and maintain roadways to prevent slope instability such as over steepened banks, sloughs, and cracking on the roadway and bank.
  • Install locked gates at the entrances of roadways that are infrequently traveled.  Post speed limit signs and install delineators at the edges of roads.
  • Always wear seatbelts when operating mobile equipment.
  • When working near water, wear flotation devices and ensure combination seat belt cutter/window breaker tools are installed in equipment.  See safety alert https://www.msha.gov/news-media/alerts-hazards/mnm-safety-alert-water-related-safety.
  • Train equipment operators in the safe performance of their tasks, potential hazards, and the use of alternative/emergency exits in cabs.  Examine these exits during pre-operational examinations.
Additional Information:

This is the sixth fatality reported in 2021, and the second classified as “Machinery.”


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.

MSHA – Mine Fatality #5

First published by MSHA.

MINE FATALITY – On Feb. 25, 2021, a 26-year old plant operator died after entering a cyclone discharge box.  The local fire department recovered the victim lodged in an 18-inch wide discharge pipe that was full of water.

Accident scene where a 26-year old plant operator died after entering a cyclone discharge box.
Best Practices:
  • Wear a fall protection harness, properly tie off to a permanent support structure, and attach a lifeline when entering a bin or other confined space.  Have a second person monitor the lifeline to make sure there is no slack in the fall protection system.
  • Use personnel lifts or ladders to safely access elevated work areas.
  • Always use fall protection when there’s a potential fall hazard.
  • Examine work areas and equipment.  Report defects and do not use unsafe work equipment.
  • Assess risks and hazards before beginning maintenance activities.
  • Train miners to safely perform their tasks and properly use their personal protective equipment.
Additional Information:

This is the fifth fatality reported in 2021, and the first classified as “Slip or Fall of Person.”


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.

MSHA – Mine Fatality #4

First published by MSHA.

MINE FATALITY – On Feb. 22, 2021, a 26-year-old underground chute puller was fatally injured as a passenger of a rail-mounted locomotive when he was crushed between the deck of the locomotive and an overhead chute.

Accident scene where a 26-year-old underground chute puller was fatally injured
Best Practices:
  • Install controls such as rail stops at loading points, crossings, etc., where track equipment must stop.
  • Install reflective signs or warning lights well in advance of low clearance areas to alert miners of the upcoming hazard.
  • Develop safe working procedures to avoid low clearance and pinch point areas.  Monitor workers to ensure these procedures are followed.
  • Always look in the direction the equipment is moving in, and keep all body parts within the operator’s compartment while a vehicle is moving.
  • Conduct proper travelway examinations to identify and mitigate the hazards presented by low clearances.
  • Train all workers to recognize potential hazards and understand safe job procedures and tasks to eliminate hazards before beginning work.
Additional Information:

This is the 4th fatality reported in 2021, and the third classified as “Powered Haulage.”


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.

MSHA – Mine Fatality #3

First published by MSHA.

MINE FATALITY – On February 8, 2021, a miner was fatally injured when he became entangled in a fluted tail pulley while attempting to shovel under an adjacent fluted tail pulley.

Accident scene where a miner was fatally injured when he became entangled in a fluted tail pulley while attempting to shovel under an adjacent fluted tail pulley.
Best Practices:
  • Design, install, and maintain area guards with signage and locks in addition to the physical barrier.  Find more information on area guarding at https://www.msha.gov/guarding-slide-presentation-guarding-conveyor-belts-metal-and-nonmetal-mines.
  • Design and maintain secure guards so miners can perform routine maintenance on belt conveyor systems without contacting moving machine parts.
  • Do not perform work on a belt conveyor until the power is off, locked out and tagged, and machinery components are blocked against motion.
  • Never clean pulleys or idlers manually while belt conveyors are operating.
  • Establish policies and procedures for conducting specific tasks on belt conveyors.
  • Ensure that people assigned to work on belt conveyors are task trained, understand the associated hazards, and demonstrate safe work procedures before beginning work.
  • Ensure all new miners receive new miner training and task training.
Additional Information:

This is the third fatality reported in 2021, and the second classified as “Powered Haulage.”


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.

MSHA – Mine Fatality #3

First published by MSHA.

MINE FATALITY – On February 8, 2021, a miner was fatally injured when he became entangled in a fluted tail pulley while attempting to shovel under an adjacent fluted tail pulley.

Accident scene where a miner was fatally injured when he became entangled in a fluted tail pulley while attempting to shovel under an adjacent fluted tail pulley.
Best Practices:
  • Design, install, and maintain area guards with signage and locks in addition to the physical barrier.  Find more information on area guarding at https://www.msha.gov/guarding-slide-presentation-guarding-conveyor-belts-metal-and-nonmetal-mines.
  • Design and maintain secure guards so miners can perform routine maintenance on belt conveyor systems without contacting moving machine parts.
  • Do not perform work on a belt conveyor until the power is off, locked out and tagged, and machinery components are blocked against motion.
  • Never clean pulleys or idlers manually while belt conveyors are operating.
  • Establish policies and procedures for conducting specific tasks on belt conveyors.
  • Ensure that people assigned to work on belt conveyors are task trained, understand the associated hazards, and demonstrate safe work procedures before beginning work.
  • Ensure all new miners receive new miner training and task training.
Additional Information:

This is the third fatality reported in 2021, and the second classified as “Powered Haulage.”


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.

MSHA – Mine Fatality #2

First published by MSHA.

MINE FATALITY – On Jan. 19, 2021, a miner backed a haul truck to the edge of a dump point that was over steepened by a loader removing material at the bottom of the slope. When the edge of the bank failed, the haul truck traveled backwards and overturned, landing on the roof of the cab. The miner was fatally injured.

Accident scene where a miner backed a haul truck to the edge of a dump point that was over steepened by a loader removing material at the bottom of the slope.
Best Practices:
  • Always dump material in a safe location. If ground conditions aren’t reliable, dump loads a safe distance back and push the material over the edge.
  • Never load material from the toe directly below an active dump point. This may lead to an over steepened and unstable slope.
  • Never drive haul trucks beyond cracks on the top of the dump site.
  • Always construct substantial berms as a visual indicator to prevent overtravel. Clearly mark dump locations with reflectors and/or markers.
  • Always wear a seatbelt.
  • Install advanced systems that restrain miners during roll-overs.
  • Maintain communication between equipment operators and loaders.
  • Train miners to use safe dumping procedures and recognize dumping hazards such as material slides and other unsafe conditions.
Additional Information:

This is the second fatality reported in 2021, and the first classified as “Powered Haulage.”


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.

MSHA – Mine Fatality #1

First published by MSHA.

MINE FATALITY – On Jan. 16, 2021, a miner was fatally injured while using a tool to remove a down-the-hole hammer. The drill motor turned unexpectedly, pinning the driller’s leg between the tool and the drill mast.

Accident scne where a miner was fatally injured while using a tool to remove a down-the-hole hammer.
Best Practices:
  • Establish and discuss safe work procedures before starting any task.
  • Identify and control all hazards. Train all workers to recognize potential hazards and understand safe job procedures to eliminate hazards before beginning work.
  • Follow manufacturer’s procedures for using equipment, and monitor employees for compliance.
  • Position yourself in a safe location away from potential “danger-zone” areas.
  • Train miners to safely perform their tasks.
  • Conduct equipment inspections and correct any defects affecting safety.
Additional Information:

This is the first fatality reported in 2021, and the first classified as “Machinery.”


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.

MSHA – Mine Fatality #29

First published by MSHA.

MINE FATALITY – On December 15, 2020, a miner was fatally injured while changing the rear tire on a front-end loader. The victim was underneath the front-end loader when it fell.

Accident scene where a miner was fatally injured while changing the rear tire on a front-end loader.
Best Practices:
  • Securely block raised equipment to prevent movement.
  • Do not rely solely on hydraulic jacks.
  • Perform equipment maintenance requiring lifting or raising equipment on a level and solid ground.
  • Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for changing tires.
  • Establish safe operating procedures for all work.
  • Ensure all workers are trained in safe operating procedures.
Additional Information:

This is the 29th fatality reported in 2020, and the ninth classified as “Machinery.”


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.

MSHA – Mine Fatality 27th and 28th

First published by MSHA.

MINE FATALITIES – On December 14, 2020, two miners died when a back failure occurred in a large four-way intersection. The miners were pumping sealing grout in the intersection when blocks of salt and anhydrite fell from beneath a slickenside onto the miners.

Accident scene where two miners died when a back failure occurred in a large four-way intersection.
Best Practices:
  • In areas of excessive span or adverse geology:
    • Install supplemental ground support to control strata movement.
    • Install sag monitors or extensometers to detect ground movement or strata separation.
    • Drill and evaluate test holes for strata separation using a borescope or scratch test.
  • Use geologic hazard mapping to identify adverse conditions.
  • Be alert to any change of ground conditions.
  • Report hazardous or abnormal conditions.
  • Perform thorough workplace examinations where miners work or travel.
  • Identify and scale hazardous ground conditions from a safe location.
  • Train miners to recognize hazards and follow safe work practices, especially before they perform new tasks.
Additional Information:

These are the 27th and 28th fatalities reported in 2020, and the second and third classified as “Fall of Roof or Back.”


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.

MSHA – Mine Fatality #26

First published by MSHA.

MINE FATALITY – On November 23, 2020, a miner was electrocuted while troubleshooting a disconnect box for the classifier drive motor. The victim had the electrical disconnect box open and the main power supply was not deenergized.

Accident scene where a miner was electrocuted while troubleshooting a disconnect box for the classifier drive motor. The victim had the electrical disconnect box open and the main power supply was not deenergized.
Best Practices:
  • Ensure electrical circuit components are properly designed and installed by qualified electrical personnel.
  • Ensure electrical troubleshooting and work are performed by people with proper electrical qualifications. Positively identify the circuit on which work will be conducted.
  • Before performing electrical work, locate the visual disconnect away from an enclosure and open it, lock it, and tag it, to ensure all electrical components in the enclosure are de-energized. Verify by testing for voltage using properly rated test equipment.
  • Wear properly rated and well maintained personal protective equipment, including arc flash protection such as a hood, gloves, shirt and pants.
  • Train miners on safe work practices for electrical equipment and circuits.
Additional Information:

This is the 26th fatality reported in 2020, and the second classified as “Electrical.”


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.