MSHA – Mine Fatality #18

MINE FATALITY – On October 9, 2020, a contractor was changing the nozzle on a hydroseeder and accidentally engaged the hydroseeder’s clutch while the nozzle was pointing towards him.  The material sprayed from the nozzle struck him, causing him to fall backward and strike his neck on the hydroseeder handrail.

accident scene where the material sprayed from the nozzle struck him, causing him to fall backward and strike his neck on the hydroseeder handrail.
Best Practices:
  • De-energize equipment while changing accessories until the equipment is ready to use and the operator is properly positioned.
  • Position yourself to avoid hazards resulting from a sudden release of energy.
  • Identify and apply methods to protect personnel from hazards associated with the work being performed. This includes all applicable personal protective equipment for identified hazards.
  • Establish and discuss safe work procedures before beginning work and ensure those procedures are followed.
Additional Information:

This is the 18th fatality reported in 2020 and the fifth 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.

Confined Space – Safety Alert

Between 2017 and 2020, three miners were fatally injured after entering confined spaces to clear material and obstructions. These confined spaces included a sand and gravel bin, a sand-filled hopper, and a cone crusher. All three miners were engulfed by falling material.

These confined spaces included a sand and gravel bin, a sand-filled hopper, and a cone crusher. All three miners were engulfed by falling material.
Best Practices:
  • Operators should identify and eliminate or control all hazards before miners begin work and when clearing blocked material. Miners should be trained in these practices.
  • Lock-out, tag-out. Never enter a confined space until the supply and discharge equipment is locked out.
  • Never lock-out using the start and stop controls. These do not disconnect power conductors.
  • Assign a safety harness and lanyard to each miner who may work at material supply and discharge areas or any areas where an engulfment hazard exists. Do not use lanyards that depend on free-fall speed to lock.
  • Place warning signs:
    • “Fall Protection Required Here”
    • “Confined Space – Engulfment Hazard” warning signs at all access points to hoppers, bins, and chutes.

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 Alert

MINE FATALITY – On May 21, 2020, two miners were working to hoist an electric motor from its base by anchoring a hoist to an overhead, unsecured steel pipe. The steel pipe slid out of place and struck one of the miners in the head and back. The miner died on May 23, 2020, due to complications from his injuries.

Accident scene where the steel pipe slid out of place and struck one of the miners in the head and back. The miner died on May 23, 2020, due to complications from his injuries.
Best Practices:
  • Ensure load anchor locations are stable, substantial and adequate to support the load.
  • Establish and discuss safe work procedures before beginning work and ensure those procedures are followed.
  • Identify and control all hazards associated with the work to be performed and the methods to properly protect persons.
  • Follow the manufacturer’s recommended safe work procedures for the maintenance task.
  • Examine work areas for hazards that may be created as a result of the work being performed.
  • Position yourself in areas where you will not be exposed to hazards resulting from a sudden release of energy. Be aware of your location in relation to machine parts that can move.
Additional Information:

This is the first fatality in 2020 classified as “Hand Tools.”


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 #17

MINE FATALITY – On September 16, 2020, a truck driver attempted to adjust the brakes on his tri-axle truck while the engine was running, the automatic transmission was in drive and the parking brake was not set. The truck moved forward and fatally injured the victim.

Accident scene where the truck moved forward and fatally injured the victim
Best Practices:
  • Before exiting, place the transmission in park, set the parking brake, turn off the engine and activate the hazard warning lights.
  • Block equipment against motion and place high visibility cones or other flagging or signage to caution oncoming traffic before working on equipment.
  • Maintain equipment braking systems and repair and adjustment as necessary.
  • Conduct pre-operational examinations using qualified personnel to identify and repair defects that may affect the safe operation of equipment before it is placed into service.
  • Train miners on site-specific hazards.
Additional Information:

This is the 17th fatality reported in 2020, 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 #14

MINE FATALITY – On August 26, 2020, two miners were preparing a mobile track mounted jaw crusher for shipping off-site. The crusher was missing the upper wrist pin from the hydraulic cylinder that raises and lowers the right hopper extension. The right hopper extension was secured in place by wedges. The victim was removing wedges, and when a wedge was removed, the extension fell, crushing the victim.

August 12, 2020 Fatality Alert accident scene
Best Practices:
  • Block equipment against hazardous motion before dismantling equipment.
  • Follow manufacturers’ recommendations when dismantling equipment.
  • Conduct adequate workplace examinations and correct any defects affecting safety before dismantling equipment.
  • Establish and discuss safe work procedures before beginning work.
  • Stay clear of suspended loads and raised equipment.
  • Position yourself in a safe location and away from potential “red-zone” areas.
  • Use ladders or other means of safe access to perform maintenance.
  • Train miners to recognize potential hazardous conditions and understand safe job procedures.
Additional Information:

This is the 14th fatality reported in 2020, and the fourth classified as “Machinery.”


McCraren Compliance assists employers in protecting their workers, starting with a comprehensive Work-site Analysis, Hazard Prevention, Controls, and Safety & Health Training.

Please contact us today at 888-758-4757 to learn how we can provide mine safety training and consulting for your business.

MSHA – Mine Fatality #15

MINE FATALITY – On September 1, 2020, a miner died when he fell while attempting to close a hatch on the top of a bulk material trailer. The miner was wearing a fall protection harness but his lanyard was not attached to a secure anchorage.

September 1, 2020 Fatality Alert accident scene
Photo property of MSHA.gov
Best Practices:
  • Encourage the use of automated hatches on tanks and trailers.
  • Provide and ensure the use of an effective fall arrest and secure anchorage system.
  • Provide safe access to all work areas and ensure truck and trailer access and work platforms are properly designed, maintained, and used.
  • Examine work areas and equipment. Don’t use unsafe work areas and equipment until repairs are made.
  • Refresh miner training on safe work procedures after returning from periods of shutdown, and routinely monitor work habits.
Additional Information:
This is the 15th fatality reported in 2020, and the fourth 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.

Working near belt conveyors: Recent deaths spur MSHA safety alert

Lock Out Tag Out Procedures Archives - Mine Safety Center

Arlington, VA — Spurred by numerous fatalities related to the hazards of working near belt conveyors, the Mine Safety and Health Administration has issued a safety alert.

Published on Sept. 3, the alert states that eight fatalities involving belt conveyors have occurred in the industry since Jan. 26, 2017. Six involved miners working near a moving conveyor, and two occurred during maintenance on an idle conveyor.

“All of these fatalities could have been prevented with proper lockout/tagout and blocking against motion before working,” the alert states.

MSHA details the most recent incident, which occurred in December and remains under investigation. A miner was fatally injured after removing a splice pin from a mainline conveyor that was caught between the belt and frame of the belt tailpiece.

The agency lists multiple best practices for working safely near belt conveyors, including:

  • Identify, isolate and control stored mechanical, electrical, hydraulic and gravitational energy.
  • Effectively block the belt conveyor to prevent movement in either direction.
  • Relieve belt tension by releasing energy at the take up/belt storage system. Remember: Some tensile energy might still exist.
  • Position belt splice in an area of safe access to avoid pinch points.
  • De-energize electrical power, and lock and tag the main disconnect before beginning maintenance. Permit only the person who installed a lock and tag to remove them – and only after completing the work.
  • Never lock out start and stop controls or belt switches, as they don’t disconnect power conductors.

 


McCraren Compliance assists employers in protecting their workers, starting with a comprehensive Work-site Analysis, Hazard Prevention, Controls, and Safety & Health Training.

Please contact us today at 888-758-4757 to learn how we can provide mine safety training and consulting for your business.


MSHA – Mine Fatality #13

MINE FATALITY – On August 18, 2020, a miner was killed while attempting to clear a material blockage. The miner entered the cone crusher to begin work when the material shifted and engulfed him.  He was extracted from the crusher and taken to a hospital, where he died the next day.

accident scene where the victim was extracted from the crusher and taken to a hospital, where he died the next day
Best Practices:
  • Properly design chutes and crushers to prevent blockages. Install a heavy screen (grizzly) to control the size of material and prevent clogging.
  • Equip chutes with mechanical devices such as vibrating shakers or air cannons to loosen blockages, or provide other effective means of handling material, so miners are not exposed to entrapment hazards by falling or sliding material.
  • Establish and discuss policies and procedures for safely clearing crushers.
  • Train miners to recognize and safely remove all potential hazards before beginning work and when clearing blocked crushers.
Additional Information:

This is the 13th fatality reported in 2020, and the second classified as “Fall of 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.

Working in Proximity to Belt Conveyors – Safety Alert

Lock-Out, Tag-Out, Try-Out, and Block Against Motion Before Working.

There have been eight fatalities involving belt conveyors in the mining industry since January 26, 2017. Six involved miners working near moving conveyors, while two involved maintenance of an idle conveyor. All of these fatalities could have been prevented with proper lock-out/tag-out and blocking against motion before working. The most recent fatality, involving a miner coming in contact with a moving conveyor, is under investigation.

On December 23, 2019, a miner on a belt move crew was fatally injured while removing a splice pin from a 72-inch mainline conveyor. A belt gripper and a ratchet-style come-along failed, releasing stored energy in a tightly stretched portion of the belt, causing the belting to suddenly become taut and shift upward, pinning the miner between the belt and frame of the belt tailpiece.

Belt Conveyor safety alert for September 2020
Best Practices:

Best practices During Belt Conveyor Maintenance

Block From Motion

  • Identify, isolate, and control stored mechanical, electrical, hydraulic, and gravitational energy.
  • Effectively block the belt conveyor to prevent movement in either direction.
  • Relieve belt tension by releasing the energy at the take-up/belt storage system. Be aware that some tensile energy may remain.
  • Anchor belt clamping system to substantial belt structures. Use properly rated engineered belt clamps and come-alongs. Do not use belt grippers to restrain tensioned belts.
  • Position the clamp 90 degrees to the belt’s direction of travel, and tie off in line with the belt’s direction of travel.
  • Position belt splice where it can be safely accessed to avoid pinch points.
  • Be aware of the consequences if blocking equipment fails. Stand in safe locations.

Lock and Tag

  • De-energize electrical power, and lock and tag the main disconnect before beginning maintenance. Only the person who installed a lock and tag can remove them, and only after completing the work.
  • Never lock out using the start and stop controls (belt switches). These do not disconnect power conductors.
  • Once power has been disconnected and properly locked and tagged out, test the system to assure there is no power to the belt conveyor.

Training and Communication

  • Ensure miners are trained on safe work procedures. Develop step-by-step procedures and review them with all miners before they perform non-routine maintenance tasks such as adding or removing conveyor belt.
  • Communicate effectively. After maintenance has been completed and before removing your lock and tag, ensure everyone is clear of the belt conveyor and communicate to others that you will be restarting the belt.

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

MINE FATALITY – On July 29, 2020, a miner was injured when his arm became entangled in a stacker conveyor belt. The victim was airlifted to a trauma center where he passed away a week later.

Accident scene where the miner was injured when his arm became entangled in a stacker conveyor belt
Photo property of MSHA
Best Practices:
  • Turn off, lock out power sources and block against motion before removing or bypassing a guard or other safety device to clean, repair, perform maintenance or clear a blockage on a belt conveyor.
  • Never clean pulleys or idlers manually while belt conveyors are operating.
  • Avoid wearing loose-fitting clothing and keep tools, body parts and long hair away from moving belt conveyor components.
  • Train all personnel in safe work procedures.
  • Properly guard moving machine parts to protect persons from contact that could cause injury.
Additional Information:

This is the 12th fatality reported in 2020, 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.