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.

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.