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.

MSHA – Mine Fatality

First published by MSHA.

MINE FATALITY – On August 21, 2020, a truck driver sustained fatal head injuries while he was deploying the automatic tarp on his fifth-wheel side-dump trailer.

Fatality scene where a truck driver sustained fatal head injuries while he was deploying the automatic tarp on his fifth-wheel side-dump trailer
Best Practices:
  • Install and use constant pressure electrical switches to deploy/retract automatic trailer tarps.
  • Inspect and maintain tarping systems routinely to ensure tarping systems function properly.
  • Install signs warning of the hazard of standing near trailers while automatic tarps are deployed/retracted.
  • Train miners on proper tarping techniques to understand the hazards associated with the work being performed.
Additional Information:

This is the sixth fatality classified as “Machinery” since August 21, 2020.


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

First published by MSHA.

MINE FATALITY – On October 19, 2020, an excavator’s bucket struck a plant operator who was standing on the cross beam of a grizzly hopper screen.

Accident scene where an excavator’s bucket struck a plant operator who was standing on the cross beam of a grizzly hopper screen
Best Practices:

•   Never swing buckets over work areas or operator’s compartments.
•   Maintain communication between equipment operators and miners on the ground.
•   Maintain control of equipment while it is in operation.
•   Train miners to safely perform their tasks.

Additional Information:

This is the 22nd fatality reported in 2020, 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 #20

First published by MSHA.

MINE FATALITY – On October 14, 2020, a lead person was killed when his pickup truck was struck by a haul truck. Preliminary Report Overview.

Accident scene where a lead person was killed when his pickup truck was struck by a haul truck
Best Practices:
  • Install and maintain collision avoidance/warning systems.
  • Equip smaller vehicles with strobe lights and flags positioned high enough to be seen from the cabs of haulage trucks in all lighting conditions.
  • Establish and follow communication protocols that require verbal verification for all mobile equipment operators.
  • Design haul roads to minimize congested areas and maximize visibility.
  • Do not drive smaller vehicles in a large truck’s potential path.
  • Train miners on mobile traffic patterns and policies. Do not rely on training or other administrative controls alone to prevent powered haulage or other accidents.
Additional Information:

This is the 20th fatality reported in 2020 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 #19

First published by MSHA.

MINE FATALITY – On October 13, 2020, a miner died after being struck by a battery-powered scoop. He had parked his shuttle car in an intersection and was exiting when a scoop went through a ventilation curtain in an adjacent crosscut and struck him.

accident scene where the victim had parked his shuttle car in an intersection and was exiting when a scoop went through a ventilation curtain in an adjacent crosscut and struck him.
Best Practices:
  • Install and maintain proximity detection systems on mobile section equipment.
  • Use transparent curtains for ventilation controls on working sections.
  • Communicate your presence and intended movements. Wait until miners acknowledge your message before moving your equipment.
  • STOP and SOUND an audible warning device before tramming equipment through ventilation curtains.
  • Avoid areas where equipment operators cannot readily see you.
  • Wear personal strobe light devices to increase visibility.
Additional Information:

This is the 19th fatality reported in 2020 and the fourth classified as “Powered Haulage.”


MSHA – Mine Fatality #18

First published by MSHA.

MINE FATALITY – On October 9, 2020, a contractor was changing the nozzle on a hydroseeder and accidentally engaged the hydroseeder’s clutch while the nozzle was pointing towards him.  The material sprayed from the nozzle struck him, causing him to fall backward and strike his neck on the hydroseeder handrail.

accident scene where the material sprayed from the nozzle struck him, causing him to fall backward and strike his neck on the hydroseeder handrail.
Best Practices:
  • De-energize equipment while changing accessories until the equipment is ready to use and the operator is properly positioned.
  • Position yourself to avoid hazards resulting from a sudden release of energy.
  • Identify and apply methods to protect personnel from hazards associated with the work being performed. This includes all applicable personal protective equipment for identified hazards.
  • Establish and discuss safe work procedures before beginning work and ensure those procedures are followed.
Additional Information:

This is the 18th fatality reported in 2020 and the fifth 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 #13

MINE FATALITY – On August 18, 2020, a miner was killed while attempting to clear a material blockage. The miner entered the cone crusher to begin work when the material shifted and engulfed him.  He was extracted from the crusher and taken to a hospital, where he died the next day.

accident scene where the victim was extracted from the crusher and taken to a hospital, where he died the next day
Best Practices:
  • Properly design chutes and crushers to prevent blockages. Install a heavy screen (grizzly) to control the size of material and prevent clogging.
  • Equip chutes 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.
  • Establish and discuss policies and procedures for safely clearing crushers.
  • Train miners to recognize and safely remove all potential hazards before beginning work and when clearing blocked crushers.
Additional Information:

This is the 13th fatality reported in 2020, and the second classified as “Fall of 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

First published by MSHA.

MINE FATALITY – On July 29, 2020, a miner was injured when his arm became entangled in a stacker conveyor belt. The victim was airlifted to a trauma center where he passed away a week later.

Accident scene where the miner was injured when his arm became entangled in a stacker conveyor belt
Photo property of MSHA
Best Practices:
  • Turn off, lock out power sources and block against motion before removing or bypassing a guard or other safety device to clean, repair, perform maintenance or clear a blockage on a belt conveyor.
  • Never clean pulleys or idlers manually while belt conveyors are operating.
  • Avoid wearing loose-fitting clothing and keep tools, body parts and long hair away from moving belt conveyor components.
  • Train all personnel in safe work procedures.
  • Properly guard moving machine parts to protect persons from contact that could cause injury.
Additional Information:

This is the 12th fatality reported in 2020, 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.