MSHA – Mine Fatality #7

First published by MSHA.

MINE FATALITY – On March 12, 2021, a miner was fatally injured while attempting to insert a steel pin into a spud beam.

Accident scene where a miner was fatally injured while attempting to insert a steel pin into a spud beam.
Best Practices:
  • Always assure hoisted equipment movement has stopped and the hoist operator has set the brake before working on hoisted equipment.
  • Assure the hoist operator can see miners working on hoisted equipment.
  • Establish an effective communication protocol, which includes confirmation of instructions, between the hoist operator and miners working on hoisted equipment.
  • Position yourself in a safe location to maintain balance and protection from any energy of cantilevering tools or objects.
  • Stay in a Safe Zone when working around cables and sheave wheel systems.
  • Always maintain a work area that is clean and clear of debris.
  • Train equipment operators in the safe performance of their tasks and potential hazards.
Additional Information:

This is the seventh fatality reported in 2021, and the first classified as “Handling 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.

MSHA – Mine Fatality #6

First published by MSHA.

MINE FATALITY – On March 5, 2021, a miner was fatally injured when the excavator he was operating rolled over into a body of water.

Accident scene where a miner was fatally injured when the excavator he was operating rolled over into a body of water.
Best Practices:
  • Construct berms or install guardrails on roadways where a drop-off exists.  Ensure berms and guardrails are at least as high as the mid-axle height of the largest equipment using the roadway.
  • Examine and maintain roadways to prevent slope instability such as over steepened banks, sloughs, and cracking on the roadway and bank.
  • Install locked gates at the entrances of roadways that are infrequently traveled.  Post speed limit signs and install delineators at the edges of roads.
  • Always wear seatbelts when operating mobile equipment.
  • When working near water, wear flotation devices and ensure combination seat belt cutter/window breaker tools are installed in equipment.  See safety alert https://www.msha.gov/news-media/alerts-hazards/mnm-safety-alert-water-related-safety.
  • Train equipment operators in the safe performance of their tasks, potential hazards, and the use of alternative/emergency exits in cabs.  Examine these exits during pre-operational examinations.
Additional Information:

This is the sixth fatality reported in 2021, and the second 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 #5

First published by MSHA.

MINE FATALITY – On Feb. 25, 2021, a 26-year old plant operator died after entering a cyclone discharge box.  The local fire department recovered the victim lodged in an 18-inch wide discharge pipe that was full of water.

Accident scene where a 26-year old plant operator died after entering a cyclone discharge box.
Best Practices:
  • Wear a fall protection harness, properly tie off to a permanent support structure, and attach a lifeline when entering a bin or other confined space.  Have a second person monitor the lifeline to make sure there is no slack in the fall protection system.
  • Use personnel lifts or ladders to safely access elevated work areas.
  • Always use fall protection when there’s a potential fall hazard.
  • Examine work areas and equipment.  Report defects and do not use unsafe work equipment.
  • Assess risks and hazards before beginning maintenance activities.
  • Train miners to safely perform their tasks and properly use their personal protective equipment.
Additional Information:

This is the fifth fatality reported in 2021, 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 #4

First published by MSHA.

MINE FATALITY – On Feb. 22, 2021, a 26-year-old underground chute puller was fatally injured as a passenger of a rail-mounted locomotive when he was crushed between the deck of the locomotive and an overhead chute.

Accident scene where a 26-year-old underground chute puller was fatally injured
Best Practices:
  • Install controls such as rail stops at loading points, crossings, etc., where track equipment must stop.
  • Install reflective signs or warning lights well in advance of low clearance areas to alert miners of the upcoming hazard.
  • Develop safe working procedures to avoid low clearance and pinch point areas.  Monitor workers to ensure these procedures are followed.
  • Always look in the direction the equipment is moving in, and keep all body parts within the operator’s compartment while a vehicle is moving.
  • Conduct proper travelway examinations to identify and mitigate the hazards presented by low clearances.
  • Train all workers to recognize potential hazards and understand safe job procedures and tasks to eliminate hazards before beginning work.
Additional Information:

This is the 4th fatality reported in 2021, 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 #3

First published by MSHA.

MINE FATALITY – On February 8, 2021, a miner was fatally injured when he became entangled in a fluted tail pulley while attempting to shovel under an adjacent fluted tail pulley.

Accident scene where a miner was fatally injured when he became entangled in a fluted tail pulley while attempting to shovel under an adjacent fluted tail pulley.
Best Practices:
  • Design, install, and maintain area guards with signage and locks in addition to the physical barrier.  Find more information on area guarding at https://www.msha.gov/guarding-slide-presentation-guarding-conveyor-belts-metal-and-nonmetal-mines.
  • Design and maintain secure guards so miners can perform routine maintenance on belt conveyor systems without contacting moving machine parts.
  • Do not perform work on a belt conveyor until the power is off, locked out and tagged, and machinery components are blocked against motion.
  • Never clean pulleys or idlers manually while belt conveyors are operating.
  • Establish policies and procedures for conducting specific tasks on belt conveyors.
  • Ensure that people assigned to work on belt conveyors are task trained, understand the associated hazards, and demonstrate safe work procedures before beginning work.
  • Ensure all new miners receive new miner training and task training.
Additional Information:

This is the third fatality reported in 2021, 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 #3

First published by MSHA.

MINE FATALITY – On February 8, 2021, a miner was fatally injured when he became entangled in a fluted tail pulley while attempting to shovel under an adjacent fluted tail pulley.

Accident scene where a miner was fatally injured when he became entangled in a fluted tail pulley while attempting to shovel under an adjacent fluted tail pulley.
Best Practices:
  • Design, install, and maintain area guards with signage and locks in addition to the physical barrier.  Find more information on area guarding at https://www.msha.gov/guarding-slide-presentation-guarding-conveyor-belts-metal-and-nonmetal-mines.
  • Design and maintain secure guards so miners can perform routine maintenance on belt conveyor systems without contacting moving machine parts.
  • Do not perform work on a belt conveyor until the power is off, locked out and tagged, and machinery components are blocked against motion.
  • Never clean pulleys or idlers manually while belt conveyors are operating.
  • Establish policies and procedures for conducting specific tasks on belt conveyors.
  • Ensure that people assigned to work on belt conveyors are task trained, understand the associated hazards, and demonstrate safe work procedures before beginning work.
  • Ensure all new miners receive new miner training and task training.
Additional Information:

This is the third fatality reported in 2021, 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 #2

First published by MSHA.

MINE FATALITY – On Jan. 19, 2021, a miner backed a haul truck to the edge of a dump point that was over steepened by a loader removing material at the bottom of the slope. When the edge of the bank failed, the haul truck traveled backwards and overturned, landing on the roof of the cab. The miner was fatally injured.

Accident scene where a miner backed a haul truck to the edge of a dump point that was over steepened by a loader removing material at the bottom of the slope.
Best Practices:
  • Always dump material in a safe location. If ground conditions aren’t reliable, dump loads a safe distance back and push the material over the edge.
  • Never load material from the toe directly below an active dump point. This may lead to an over steepened and unstable slope.
  • Never drive haul trucks beyond cracks on the top of the dump site.
  • Always construct substantial berms as a visual indicator to prevent overtravel. Clearly mark dump locations with reflectors and/or markers.
  • Always wear a seatbelt.
  • Install advanced systems that restrain miners during roll-overs.
  • Maintain communication between equipment operators and loaders.
  • Train miners to use safe dumping procedures and recognize dumping hazards such as material slides and other unsafe conditions.
Additional Information:

This is the second fatality reported in 2021, 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 #25

First published by MSHA.

MINE FATALITY – On Nov. 23, 2020, a miner was fatally injured when the battery-powered scoop he was operating ran over a section of pipe in the roadway. The four-inch plastic pipe entered the operator’s compartment and struck him.

Accident scene where a miner was fatally injured when the battery-powered scoop he was operating ran over a section of pipe in the roadway.
Best Practices:
  • Conduct thorough examinations of roadways and remove material that could pose a hazard to equipment operators, passengers, or other miners.
  • Keep roadways free of excessive watermud, and other conditions that reduce an equipment operator’s ability to control mobile equipment.
  • Secure loads on haulage vehicles to prevent them from falling off into roadways.
  • Install substantial guarding to prevent material from entering the operator compartment.
  • Establish safe operating procedures for mobile equipment and a maintenance schedule for roadways.
Additional Information:

This is the 25th fatality reported in 2020, and the seventh 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 #24

First published by MSHA.

MINE FATALITY – On Nov. 8, 2020, a bulldozer operator was killed when his bulldozer backed over the edge of a highwall.

Accident scene where a bulldozer operator was killed when his bulldozer backed over the edge of a highwall.
Best Practices:

•    Install and maintain lights to illuminate working places during the night and early morning hours.
•    Install berms, signs or devices to identify the edge of working benches and to allow equipment operators to maintain control of equipment.
•    Train equipment operators to identify dangerous conditions and to keep the dozer blade between the operator and the edge when near drop-offs.
•    Develop and enforce policies requiring safety belts when operating machinery.

Additional Information:

This is the 24th fatality reported in 2020, 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.

MSHA – Mine Fatality #23

First published by MSHA.

MINE FATALITY – On Oct. 27, 2020, a miner was digging a hole to install a wooden post for roof control when a section of the roof fell on him.

Accident scene when a section of the roof fell on the victim
Best Practices:
  • Thoroughly examine the roof, face, and ribs where people will be working and traveling, including sound and vibration testing where applicable.
  • Scale loose roof and ribs from a safe location. Prevent access to hazardous areas until appropriate corrective measures can be taken.
  • Set temporary support before installing permanent support.
  • Be alert for changing conditions and report abnormal roof or rib conditions to mine management and other miners.
  • Know and follow the approved roof control plan and provide additional support when cracks or other abnormalities are detected. Remember, the approved roof control plan contains minimum requirements.
  • Propose revisions to the roof control plan to provide measures to control roof hazards.
Additional Information:

This is the 23rd fatality reported in 2020, and the first 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.