MSHA – Mine Fatality #29

Original article published by MSHA

MINE FATALITY – On December 16, 2022, a contract mechanic died while removing the counterweight of an excavator, when it fell and struck him.

Accidsent scene where a contract mechanic died while removing the counterweight of an excavator, when it fell and struck him.
Photo property of MSHA

Best Practices

Operators should:

  • Block machinery components against motion before beginning maintenance or repairs.
  • Assure blocking material is substantial and installed correctly to support and stabilize the load.
  • Assure miners position themselves in a safe location and away from potential pinch point areas.
  • Train miners to conduct repairs according to manufacturer recommendations.

Additional Information

This is the 29th fatality reported in 2022, and the tenth 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.

Highwall Safety Alert

Original article published by MSHA
Since CY 2012, falling rocks and materials from hazardous highwalls have resulted in 9 mining fatalities and 27 serious injuries.
Since CY 2012, falling rocks and materials from hazardous highwalls have resulted in 9 mining fatalities and 27 serious injuries.
Photo property of MSHA
Best Practices
  • Develop and follow a plan for the safe control of all highwalls where miners work and travel in close proximity to the highwall.
  • Train miners to recognize highwall hazards.
  • Conduct highwall examinations and assure hazards (loose rocks, overhangs, trees, etc.) are taken down or supported prior to work or travel near the highwall. Examine more frequently after rain, freezing and thawing.
  • Scale highwalls to eliminate hazards, e.g. loose rocks or overhangs. Perform scaling from a position that will not expose miners to injury. Until hazards are corrected, place warning signs or barricades to prevent entry.
  • Restrict highwall height to allow available equipment to safely scale the highwall. If benching is necessary, provide adequate bench width based on the type of equipment used for routine clearing or scaling operations.
  • Develop blasting plans and use proper blasting techniques. Examine highwalls after blasting.
  • Remove trees, vegetation, and unconsolidated material a safe distance from the top edge of highwalls.
  • Never park equipment, perform maintenance or store materials beneath highwalls.
  • Use diversion ditches or slope the ground so that surface runoff drains away from highwalls.

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 #28

Original article published by MSHA

MINE FATALITY – On December 6, 2022, a miner died when the diesel tractor he was operating struck a pillar.  The miner was thrown from the tractor and crushed under the rear tire of the tractor.

Accident scene where a miner died when the diesel tractor he was operating struck a pillar.

Photo property of MSHA

Best Practices

  • Make sure miners wear seat belts when operating mobile equipment.
  • Make sure miners maintain control of equipment while it is in operation.
  • Train miners in the safe performance of their assigned tasks.

Additional Information

This is the 28th fatality reported in 2022, and the fifth 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 #27

Original article published by MSHA

MINE FATALITY – On November 5, 2022, a miner died when he was engulfed in a coal stockpile.

Accident scene where a miner died when he was engulfed in a coal stockpile.

Photo property of MSHA

Best Practices

  • Equip grates and feeders with mechanical clearing devices to prevent miners from being exposed to hazards of falling or sliding material.
  • Make sure miners do not travel by foot on stockpiles or near the toe of stockpile slopes.
  • Make sure miners can be seen, heard, or can communicate with others when working alone under hazardous conditions.
  • Examine working places to identify the potential for falling or sliding materials prior to allowing access to areas in or around grates and feeders.

Additional Information

This is the 27th fatality reported in 2022, and the third classified as “Engulfment.”


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 #23

Original article published by MSHA
MINE FATALITY – On October 1, 2022, a miner died while using a crane to remove a haul truck engine. The auxiliary line broke, causing the hook and ball assembly to fall and strike the miner.
Accident scene where a miner died while using a crane to remove a haul truck engine.  The auxiliary line broke, causing the hook and ball assembly to fall and strike the miner.
Best Practices:
  • Make sure cranes have functional anti-two blocking devices to automatically shut off the crane when the rigging on the hoist line gets close to the sheave at the end of the crane boom.
  • Make sure miners stay clear of suspended loads and use taglines when necessary for steadying or guiding suspended loads.
  • Make sure miners conduct thorough pre-operational inspections of all machinery, equipment, and tools prior to use.
Additional Information:

This is the 23rd fatality reported in 2022, and the eighth 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.

Health Alert: Respirable Crystalline Silica

Original article published by MSHA

PDF icon health-hazard-alert-silicadust .pdf

Silicosis is a disabling, nonreversible, and sometimes fatal lung disease caused by overexposure to respirable crystalline silica.

Miner Health Matters MSHA logo
Best Practices:

What can Metal/Nonmetal and Coal Mine Operators do to prevent silicosis?

1.    Perform air monitoring of worksites.  Monitoring will determine:

  • effectiveness of engineering controls
  • need for additional work practices to reduce dust levels; and
  • proper respiratory protection needed

2.    Install and maintain engineering controls to reduce the amount of silica in the air. Examples of controls include:

  • exhaust ventilation
  • increase face ventilation: both velocity and quantity
  • dry dust collection systems
  • water sprays
  • wet drilling or suppression
  • supply vacuums with high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters; and
  • enclosed cabs

3.    Administrative controls are the second line of defense for minimizing silica exposures. These controls include:

  • practice preventative maintenance:  clean and maintain equipment
  • practice good housekeeping: don’t dry sweep to clean up
  • use wet cleaning methods, or vacuums with HEPA filters to remove dust from floors and surfaces; and
  • train miners about engineering controls and work practices that reduce dust, and the importance of maintenance and good housekeeping

4.    Provide miners with appropriately selected, properly fitted, and NIOSH approved respirators, as engineering controls are installed or updated.

  • make sure respirators are kept clean and properly maintained and that miners are trained in their use

A comprehensive source of dust controls and practices can be found at:   https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/mining/features/dustcontrolhandbooks.html


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 #22

Original article published by MSHA

MINE FATALITY – On September 28, 2022, a miner died when he was engulfed in a collapsed stockpile.  The miner was working close to the toe of the stockpile to remove material off the top of a surge tunnel’s feeder to clear a blockage.

Accident scene where a miner died when he was engulfed in a collapsed stockpile.
Photo property of MSHA 
Best Practices:
  • Operators should have procedures to safely clear blockages from feeders, and train miners to stay out of areas where there is a danger of falling or sliding material.
    • Equip feeders with mechanical clearing devices to prevent exposing miners to hazards of falling or sliding material.
  • Make sure miners trim stockpiles to prevent hazards.
Additional Information:

This is the 22nd fatality reported in 2022, and the first classified as “Engulfment.”


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

Original article published by MSHA

MINE FATALITY – On August 4, 2022, a mine manager died while performing maintenance on a bulldozer.  While kneeling on the bulldozer’s track, the victim accidentally engaged the lever that put the bulldozer in reverse.  The bulldozer track moved the victim to the rear of the bulldozer where he was run over.

Accident scene where a mine manager died while performing maintenance on a bulldozer.
Photo property of MSHA
Best Practices:
  • Operators should train miners on safe maintenance procedures:
  • turn off the engine
  • block equipment against motion
  • Operators should make sure miners are in a safe location in relation to machine parts that can move.
Additional Information:

This is the 17th fatality reported in 2022, and the seventh 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 #21

Original article published by MSHA

MINE FATALITY – On September 9, 2022, a dredge operator drowned while working in a dredge pond.

Accidemt scene where a dredge operator drowned while working in a dredge pond
Photo property of MSHA
Best Practices:
  • Make sure a competent person conducts workplace examinations before miners begin work to identify conditions that may adversely affect safety.
  • Make sure miners wear life jackets or belts where there is danger of falling into water.
  • Make sure miners maintain communication when working alone.
Additional Information:

This is the 21st fatality reported in 2022, and the second classified as “Drowning.”


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 #18

First published by MSHA

MINE FATALITY – On August 17, 2022, a general inside laborer died when he was caught between a supply car and its coupler.  The victim was sitting on the supply car which was coupled to a locomotive parked in a track spur.  The locomotive was struck by another locomotive pulling three loaded cars into the mine.  The impact knocked the victim off the supply car, killing him.

Accident scene where a general inside laborer died when he was caught between a supply car and its coupler.  The victim was sitting on the supply car which was coupled to a locomotive parked in a track spur. 
Photo property of MSHA
Best Practices:
  • Assure track switches are in the proper position for your direction of travel and the latches are in contact with the rail.
  • Make sure miners are in a safe location away from equipment parked in a track spur when other equipment is passing along the main rail line.
  • Make sure miners communicate their location and intended movements with the dispatcher.  Repeat the switch alignment back to the dispatcher, where applicable.
Additional Information:

This is the 18th fatality reported in 2022, and the fourth 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.