MSHA -Mine Fatality #10

MINE FATALITY – On June 19, 2020, a miner died while inspecting a stockpile for oversized material. As the victim walked along the toe of the stockpile, a portion of the stockpile collapsed, covering him with approximately four feet of material.

scene of the accident where the fatality occured
Best Practices:
  • Establish and discuss safe work procedures before beginning work. Identify and control all hazards associated with the work to be performed and the methods to properly protect persons.
  • Task train everyone to recognize potential hazardous conditions that can decrease bank or slope stability and ensure they understand safe job procedures for eliminating hazards.
  • Stay clear of potentially unstable areas. Barricade the toe area to prevent access where hazards have not been corrected.
  • Oversteepened slopes may be flattened from the top of the stockpile by using a bulldozer to gradually cut down the slope.
Additional Information:

This is the 10th fatality reported in 2020, and the first classified as “Falling, Rolling, or Sliding Rock or Material of Any Kind.”

MSHA – Mine Fatality #8

MINE FATALITY – On June 1, 2020, a contract truck driver died after falling from the top of his trailer.  The victim received first aid/CPR at the scene and passed away after being transported to a local hospital.

scene of accident where the driver died after falling from the top of his trailer
Best Practices: 
  • Discuss work procedures; identify all potential hazards to do the job safely.
  • Train everyone to recognize fall hazards and ensure that safe work procedures are discussed and established.
  • Include safe truck tarping requirements in site-specific hazard training.
  • Provide truck tarping safe access facilities where needed.
  • Provide an effective fall arrest secure anchorage system.  Ensure that people wear and attach fall protection connecting devices where there is a danger of falling.
  • Use automatic tarp deploying systems to prevent people from working from heights.
Additional Information:

This is the 8th fatality reported in 2020, and the third classified as “Slip or Fall of Person.”

MSHA – Fatality Alert #7

MINE FATALITY – On May 2, 2020, a miner entered a dredged sand and gravel bin through a lower access hatch to clear an obstruction. The miner was clearing the blockage with a bar when the material inside the bin fell and engulfed him.

scene of accident where the victim was engulfed by material
Best Practices:
  1. Lock-out, tag-out. Never enter a bin until the supply and discharge equipment is locked out.
  2. Train miners to recognize and safely remove all potential hazards before beginning work and when clearing blocked hoppers.
  3. Equip bins 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.
  4. Follow manufacturer recommendations for clearing out blockages.
  5. Establish and discuss policies and procedures for safely clearing bins.
  6. Install a heavy screen (grizzly) to control the size of the material and prevent clogging.
Additional Information:

This is the 7th fatality reported in 2020, and the second classified as “Handling Material.”

MSHA Fatality #14

On Wednesday, August 7, 2019, a 42-year-old preparation plant electrician with 15 years of mining experience was electrocuted when he contacted an energized connection of a 4,160 VAC electrical circuit.  The victim was in the plant’s Motor Control Center (MCC) adjusting the linkage between the disconnect lever and the internal components of the 4,160 VAC panel supplying power to the plant feed belt motors.

Accident scene where the victim was electricuted
Best Practices:
  • Lock Out and Tag Out the electrical circuit yourself and NEVER rely on others to do this for you.
  • Control Hazardous Energy!  Design and arrange MCCs so electrical equipment can be serviced without hazards.  Install and maintain a main disconnecting means located at a readily accessible point capable of disconnecting all ungrounded conductors from the circuit to safely service the equipment.
  • Install warning labels on line side terminals of circuit breakers and switches indicating that the terminal lugs remain energized when the circuit breaker or switch is open.
  • Before performing troubleshooting or electrical type work, develop a plan, communicate and discuss the plan with qualified electricians to ensure the task can be completed without creating hazardous situations.
  • Follow these steps BEFORE entering an electrical enclosure or performing electrical work:
  1. Locate the circuit breaker or load break switch away from the enclosure and open it to de-energize the incoming power cable(s) or conductors.
  2. Locate the visual disconnect away from the enclosure and open it to provide visual evidence that the incoming power cable(s) or conductors have been de-energized.
  3. Lock-out and tag-out the visual disconnect.
  4. Ground the de-energized conductors.
  • Wear properly rated and maintained electrical gloves when troubleshooting or testing energized circuits.
  • Focus on the task at hand and ensure safe work practices to complete the service.  A second qualified electrician should double check to ensure you have followed all necessary safety precautions.
  • Use properly rated electrical meters and non-contact voltage testers to ensure electrical circuits have been de-energized.
Additional Information:

This is the 14th MSHA fatality reported in calendar year 2019.  As of this date in 2018, there were 12 MSHA fatalities reported.  This is the first Electrical accident classification fatality in 2019.  There was one fatality in this classification in 2018.

MSHA Fatality #13

On Friday, August 2, 2019, a 39-year old contract equipment operator, with 16 years of experience, was killed while descending the main haul road in a fuel/lube truck.  The victim radioed that the truck’s brakes did not work and after traveling approximately one mile down a 7% grade, struck a runaway truck ramp’s berm causing it to overturn. The victim was not wearing a seatbelt.

scene vihicle struck a runaway truck ramp’s berm causing it to overturn
Best Practices:
  1. Always wear seat belts when operating mobile equipment.
  2. Maintain control and stay alert when operating mobile equipment.
  3. Conduct adequate pre-operational checks and correct any defects affecting safety in a timely manner prior to operating mobile equipment.
  4. Promptly remove equipment from service if defects affecting safety are found.  Never rely on engine brakes and transmission retarders as substitutes for keeping brakes properly maintained.
  5. Operate mobile equipment at speeds consistent with the conditions of roadways, tracks, grades, clearance, visibility, curves, and traffic.
  6. Ensure that berms are adequate for the vehicles present on site.  Runaway truck ramps should be constructed to accommodate out of control mobile equipment traveling at a high rate of speed.  The length, width, grade, and approach to the runaway truck ramp should be sufficient for the mobile equipment used on the haul road.
Additional Information:

This is the 13th MSHA fatality reported in calendar year 2019. As of this date in 2018, there were 12 MSHA fatalities reported. This is the fifth powered haulage accident classification fatality in 2019. There was seven powered haulage accident classification fatalities during the same period in 2018.

MSHA Fatality #11

MSHA MINE FATALITY – On June 24, 2019, a 34-year-old contractor with 10 years of experience, received fatal injuries when he fell beneath the wheels of a tractor-trailer. Miners were using a bulldozer to pull the tractor-trailer, which had become stuck in the sand. As the tractor-trailer began to be pulled, the victim was seen walking toward the side of the truck. The victim died at the scene from crushing injuries after being run over by the truck wheels.

Best Practices:
  • Do not allow people to ride in any area of a vehicle that is not equipped with a seat belt.
  • When approaching large mobile equipment, do not proceed until you communicate and verify with the equipment operator your planned movement and location.
  • Stay in the line of sight with mobile equipment operators. Never assume the equipment operator sees you.
  • Ensure, by signal or other means, that all persons are clear before moving equipment.
Additional Information:

This is the 11th MSHA fatality reported in calendar year 2019. As of this date in 2018, there were 11 MSHA fatalities reported. This is the 5th Powered Haulage accident classification fatality in 2019. There were six Powered Haulage accident classification fatalities during the same period in 2018.

MSHA Fatality #10

MSHA MINE FATALITY – On June 10, 2019, a 22-year-old contractor with 3 years of experience, was fatally injured when he was pinned between a front-end loader and a concrete block. The victim was working in a conduit trench, preparing to install a junction box. The plant manager was using a front-end loader above to back fill the trench. The front-end loader over travelled the edge and toppled into the trench.

Best Practices:
  • Establish and discuss safe work procedures.  Identify and eliminate or control all hazards associated with the task being performed.
  • Train and monitor persons on safe work positioning.
  • Keep mobile equipment a safe distance from the edge of unstable ground, open excavations, and steep embankments.
  • Operating speeds should be consistent with conditions of roadways, grades, and the type of equipment used.
  • Assure equipment operators are familiar with their working environment. Front-end loader operators must ensure personnel are not near the machine when in operation.
Additional Information:

This is the 10th MSHA fatality reported in calendar year 2019. As of this date in 2018, there were 9 MSHA fatalities reported. This is the 4th Powered Haulage accident classification fatality in 2019. There were five fatalities classified as a Powered Haulage accident during the same period in 2018.

MSHA Fatality #9

MSHA MINE FATALITY – On May 22, 2019, a 48-year-old continuous mining machine operator with 12 years of experience was severely injured when a section of coal/rock rib measuring, 48 to 54” long, 24” wide, and 28” thick, fell and pinned him to the mine floor. At the time of the accident, the victim was in the process of taking the second cut of a crosscut and was moving the mining machine cable that was adjacent to the coal/rock rib. The victim was hospitalized and due to complications associated with his injuries, passed away 8 days later.

Best Practices:
  • Install rib bolts with adequate surface area coverage, during the mining cycle, and in a consistent pattern for the best protection against rib falls.
  • Follow the requirements in the approved roof control plan, and remember it contains minimum safety requirements. Install additional support when rib fractures or other abnormalities are detected. Revise the plan if conditions change and cause the support system to no longer be adequate.
  • Be aware of potential hazards when working or traveling near mine ribs, especially when geologic conditions (such as thick in-seam rock partings) could cause rib hazards.  Take additional safety precautions while working in these conditions. Correct all hazardous conditions before allowing miners to work or travel in these areas.
  • Perform complete and thorough examinations of pillar corners, particularly where the angle formed between an entry and a crosscut is less than 90 degrees.
  • Adequately support loose ribs or scale loose rib material from a safe location using a bar of suitable length and design.
  • Task train all miners to conduct thorough examinations of the roof, face, and ribs where persons will be working or traveling and to correct all hazardous conditions before miners work or travel in such areas. Continuously watch for changing conditions and conduct more frequent examinations when abnormal conditions are present.
Additional Information:

This is the 9th MSHA fatality reported in calendar year 2019.As of this date in 2018, there were 8 MSHA fatalities reported. This is the 1st Fall of Face, Rib, Side or Highwall accident classification fatality in 2019. There was one Fall of Face, Rib, Side or Highwall accident classification fatality during the same period in 2018.

MSHA fatality #8

MSHA MINE FATALITY – On May 18, 2019, a 34-year-old plant operator with 8 years of experience received fatal injuries when he was ejected from a man lift basket. The victim was tramming while elevated at 28 feet. The miner was wearing a fall protection harness with a retractable lanyard but it was not secured/tied off to the man lift basket.

Best Practices:
  • Always stay connected/tie off.  Always attach the lanyard of the approved fall protection device to the designated attachment point.
  • Use boom functions instead of tram functions to position the platform close to obstacles.
  • Ensure that persons are properly task trained regarding safe operating procedures before allowing them to operate mobile equipment.
  • Do not place yourself in a position that will expose you to hazards while performing a task.
  • Ensure that access gates or openings are closed.
Additional Information: 

This is the 8th MSHA fatality reported in calendar year 2019.As of this date in 2018, there were 8 MSHA fatalities reported. This is the 3rd Powered Haulage accident classification fatality in 2019. There were four Powered Haulage accident classification fatalities during the same period in 2018.

MSHA Fatality #6

MSHA MINE FATALITY – On May 13, 2019, a 59-year-old supervisor with 40 years of experience was fatally injured when the stationary crane he was operating fell 85 feet into the quarry.

Best Practices: 
  • Ensure all safety devices are functional.
  • Conduct a visual inspection of the equipment, load, and rigging prior to placing equipment in operation..
  • Conduct a visual inspection of site conditions and potential hazards.
Additional Information: 

This is the 6th MSHA fatality reported in calendar year 2019. As of this date in 2018, there were 8 MSHA fatalities reported. This is the 4th Machinery accident classification fatality in 2019. There was one Machinery accident classification fatalities during the same period in 2018.