MSHA Mine Fatality #6

First published by MSHA

MINE FATALITY – On January 28, 2022, while driving downhill, the 56 year-old driver of a concrete mixer truck was fatally injured after he lost control of the truck.  The truck overturned and the driver was ejected from the truck.  Another miner, who was in the truck, was also ejected and suffered serious injuries.

Accident scene while driving downhill, the 56 year-old driver of a concrete mixer truck was fatally injured after he lost control of the truck.
Photo: MSHA
Best Practices: 
  • Each shift, inspect mobile equipment before placing it into operation.  Correct defects that pose a hazard to miners.  Tag out mobile equipment that can’t be corrected.
  • Assure brakes can stop and hold mobile equipment with its typical load on the maximum grade it travels.
  • Always wear seat belts when operating mobile equipment.
  • Maintain control of mobile equipment and drive at safe speeds.
Additional Information:

This is the sixth fatality reported in 2022, 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 #7

First published by MSHA

MINE FATALITY – On February 14, 2022, a 34 year-old maintenance technician died while driving a lube truck underground.  The truck over traveled the edge of a stope and fell approximately 60 feet into the stope drift.

Accident scene where a 34 year-old maintenance technician died while driving a lube truck underground.
Photo: MSHA
Best Practices:
  • Provide berms, bumper blocks, safety hooks, or similar impeding devices at dumping locations where there is a hazard of over travel.
  • Examine working places before work begins for conditions that may adversely affect safety and health
Additional Information:

This is the seventh fatality reported in 2022, 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 #5

First published by MSHA

MINE FATALITY – On January 26, 2022, a dump truck rolled backward onto a 54 year-old miner while the miner was attempting to troubleshoot a brake issue.  The dump truck operator was unaware that the miner was under the truck when he released the parking brake, allowing the dump truck to roll backward.

Accident scene where a dump truck rolled backward onto a 54 year-old miner while the miner was attempting to troubleshoot a brake issue.
Photo: MSHA
Best Practices: 
  • Block machinery or equipment against hazardous motion before performing repairs or maintenance.
  • Communicate with mobile equipment operators and assure they acknowledge your presence, before traveling near mobile equipment.  Do not assume that mobile equipment operators know that you are in the vicinity.
Additional Information:

This is the 5th fatality reported in 2022, 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 #12

First published by MSHA

MINE FATALITY – On March 22, 2022, a 44 year-old heavy equipment operator drowned after the floating pump station he was standing on capsized.  At the time of the accident, the miner was assisting a co-worker in connecting a water discharge line.

ccident scene where a 44 year-old heavy equipment operator drowned after the floating pump station he was standing on capsized.
Photo: Mine Safety and Health Administration
Best Practices:
  • Design and use floating platforms in a manner that complies with the manufacturer’s specifications and recommendations.
  • Before working on a floating platform:
  • implement safe work procedures that take into account potential hazards from rain, ice, freezing temperatures, and other environmental conditions.
  • perform adequate work place examinations, especially on floating platforms that are infrequently used.  Check parts that are subject to rust, sun damage, water damage, etc. over long periods of time.
  • Wear life jackets where there is danger from falling into water.
Additional Information:

This is the twelfth fatality reported in 2022, and the first 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 #11

First published by MSHA

MINE FATALITY – On March 20, 2022, a 33 year-old miner died when he was struck by a roof fall while moving a waterline out by the retreat mining section.  The intersection of the fall area was supported with five-foot fully grouted roof bolts and 10-foot cable bolts.  The roof fall was approximately 40 feet long, 18 feet wide, and five feet thick.

Accident scene where a 33 year-old miner died when he was struck by a roof fall while moving a waterline outby the retreat mining section.
Photo: Mine Safety and Health Administration
Best Practices: 
  • Conduct a visual examination of the roof, face, and ribs immediately before any work is started in an area.
  • Be alert to changing roof conditions, especially during retreat mining.
  • Train miners on how to identify hazardous roof and rib conditions.
Additional Information:

This is the 11th fatality reported in 2022, and the second 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 #10

First published by MSHA

MINE FATALITY – On March 4, 2022, a 37 year-old bulldozer operator died when the bulldozer he was operating went over the edge of the highwall, landing upside down on the pit floor.

Accident scene where a 37 year-old bulldozer operator died when the bulldozer he was operating went over the edge of the highwall, landing upside down on the pit floor.
Photo: Mine Safety and Health Administration
Best Practices: 

• Dump loads a safe distance back from the edge of the highwall and push the material over.
• Maintain control of mobile equipment while it is in operation.
• Perform ground condition and workplace examinations.
• Train miners to safely perform tasks.

Additional Information:

This is the tenth fatality reported in 2022, and the third 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.

Mine safety campaign to reinforce operators’ obligation to train miners on the job properly

First published by MSHA

Photo property of USDOT

WASHINGTON – Over the past year, dozens of miners have been injured or killed in mining incidents, many of which could have been prevented with proper training and attention to tasks. This unacceptable trend has prompted the U.S. Department of Labor to initiate a new safety campaign to reach miners and educate mine operators on their responsibility to ensure a safe workplace and prevent deadly accidents.

The department’s Mine Safety and Health Administration today announced the Take Time Save Lives campaign to reach miners, promote best practice resources, and ensure mine operators have the tools they need to fully train miners to use equipment.

“The purpose of this new campaign is simple: mine operators need to take the time to train miners on equipment and safety protocols, and miners need to take time to remember their training before they begin a task,” said Acting Assistant Secretary for Mine Safety and Health Jeannette Galanis. “While the Take Time Save Lives campaign specifically highlights best practices for frequently occurring incidents, our goal is to reach miners with a wide-ranging set of resources. MSHA will continue to ensure miners have the knowledge to stay safe on the job, but it’s up to mine operators to make sure that miners are fully trained and able to take time to follow best safety practices that can prevent deadly accidents.”

Miners and operators can find training resources and safety best practices for:

  • Powered haulage safety.
  • Roof and rib falls.
  • Fire suppression and prevention.
  • Fatality updates.

Read Acting Assistant Secretary Galanis’ blog post on the new safety campaign.


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.

Buffalo Creek Mine Disaster 50th Anniversary

First published by MSHA
Map of enforcemment Regional offices

Buffalo Creek Mine Disaster: Feb. 26, 1972 

February 26, 2022, marks the 50th anniversary of one of the most devastating mine disasters in U.S. history. Three coal waste dams in West Virginia failed, killing 125 people and injuring 1,100 more in communities downstream of the dams.

Approximately 550 homes were destroyed, and another 900-plus were damaged.  Total property damage was estimated at $50 million (about $340 million in 2022 dollars).

What happened? 

From 1962 to 1972, three dams were built in on the middle fork of Buffalo Creek in Logan County. Each upstream dam was built several hundred yards upstream of the previous dam. The pool behind Dam No. 1 filled up with fine waste, then Dam No. 2 was built on top of that waste. This process was repeated when the third dam (Dam No. 3) was built over Dam No. 2’s slurry pool.

The dams were intended to leak and serve as filters. Black water was pumped into pools behind the dams and dams filtered the deposits so that relatively clear water could run out their downstream face. The dams were not designed or constructed in accordance with then-current engineering standards. Instead, the builders “end-dumped” and shoved loosely compacted layers of coarse refuse across the valley. It was a recipe for disaster as the trio of dams was inadequate to handle runoff from large rainstorms, like the one that dumped several inches of rain on Logan County by early Saturday morning, Feb. 26.

Because of the downpour, nearly 50 acre-feet of fresh water filled the pool of Dam No. 3 above its impounded sediment. The pool was within three feet of the crest of the dam, and ominous cracks appeared. These cracks were a clear indication of the saturation and subsequent destabilization of the structure, but no evacuation order was issued. Dam No. 3 failed at 8 a.m., releasing millions of gallons of water into Dam No. 2.  Read More»


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 January 14, 2022, a 44-year-old contract laborer with 13 years of total experience received fatal injuries when he fell 27 feet to a concrete surface.  At the time of the accident, the contractor was on a belt conveyor in a preparation plant and was working to replace a belt conveyor roller.

Accident scene where a 44-year-old contract laborer with 13 years of total experience received fatal injuries when he fell 27 feet to a concrete surface.
Photo property of MSHA
Best Practices:
  • Establish and follow safety policies and procedures, when working at heights.
  • Train miners to use fall protection when a fall hazard exists.
  • Ensure fall protection is available and properly maintained.
  • Provide identifiable and secure anchor points to attach lanyards and lifelines.
  • Provide mobile or stationary platforms—or scaffolding—where there is a risk of falling.
Additional Information:

This is the fourth fatality reported in 2022, 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 #2

First published by MSHA

MINE FATALITY – On January 7, 2022, a 35 year-old continuous mining machine (CMM) operator was fatally injured when he was pinned between the remote controlled CMM and the coal rib.

Accident scene where a 35 year-old continuous mining machine (CMM) operator was fatally injured when he was pinned between the remote controlled CMM and the coal rib.
Photo property of MSHA
Best Practices:
  • Operate equipment from a safe location. Stay out of “Red Zone” areas including pinch points, the CMM turning radius, and areas close to the ribs.
  • Maintain proximity detection systems (PDS) in the approved operating condition.
  • Perform the manufacturer’s recommended static and dynamic tests to assure the PDS is functioning properly. Verify that the shutdown zones are at sufficient distances to stop the CMM before contacting a miner.
  • Wear miner wearable components in accordance with PDS manufacturer’s recommendations so warning lights and sounds can be seen and heard.
  • Develop and implement procedures for tramming, repositioning, cable handling and moving remote controlled CMMs safely.
  • Train miners on the function of PDS.
Additional Information:

This is the second fatality reported in 2022, 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.