MSHA – Mine Fatality #13

First published by MSHA

MINE FATALITY – On June 2, 2021, a 26-year-old section foreman with five years of mining experience was pinned against a continuous mining machine by a piece of rib. The piece fell while he was installing a rib bolt with the machine mounted rib drill.

accident scene where the foreman with five years of mining experience was pinned against a continuous mining machine by a piece of rib. The piece fell while he was installing a rib bolt with the machine mounted rib drill
Photo property of MSHA.gov
Best Practices:
  • Support loose roof and rib material adequately or scale loose material from a safe location before working or traveling in an area.
  • Examine the roof, face and ribs immediately before starting work in an area and throughout the shift as conditions warrant.
  • Take additional safety precautions when mining heights increase and in areas where mine conditions change.
  • Train miners to recognize roof and rib hazards and to stop work in the area until the hazards are corrected.
Additional Information:

This is the 13th fatality reported in 2021, and the first classified as “Fall of Face, Rib, Side or Highwall”


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 May 18, 2021, a telehandler was towing a trailer with a diesel pump onboard up an inclined underground roadway when the tow hitch suddenly broke. The trailer rolled down the roadway, striking and fatally injuring a contract laborer.

Accident scene where the trailer rolled down the roadway, striking and fatally injuring a contract laborer.
Best Practices:
  • Use towing hardware (hitches, tow bars, receivers, couplers, pins, pintles, safety chains/cables, etc.) which is properly designed and rated. Before each use, examine towing hardware for wear, cracks and other damage.
  • Never exceed the recommended maximum towing capacity of a tow vehicle or trailer. Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations and only use equipment designed for towing.
  • Always use properly sized safety chains in conjunction with hitches. Safety chains keep the trailer connected to the tow vehicle in case the other tow hardware fails.
  • Never position yourself directly behind equipment being towed uphill.
  • Establish procedures for safe and proper towing. Train miners to follow these procedures and identify hazards associated with towing.
Additional Information:

This is the 12th fatality reported in 2021, 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.

MSHA – Mine Fatality #11

First published by MSHA.

MINE FATALITY – On May 14, 2021, a continuous mining machine operator was fatally injured when a piece of rock fell from the roof and struck him. The victim was working under unsupported roof in the Number 1 entry.

Accident map showing where an operator was fatally injured when a piece of rock fell from the roof and struck him.
Photo property of MSHA.gov
Best Practices:
  • Never work or travel under unsupported roof.  
  • Thoroughly examine the roof, face and ribs where people will be working and traveling, including sound and vibration testing.
  • Scale loose roof and ribs from a safe location. Prevent access to unsupported and hazardous areas until appropriate corrective measures can be taken.
  • Follow the approved roof control plan and provide additional support when cracks or other abnormalities are detected. Never exceed the maximum cut depth specified in the approved roof control plan.
  • Mark the second to last row of bolts with reflective material and train miners not to travel inby this location.
  • Train miners to identify hazards from the roof, face and ribs.
Additional Information:

This is the 11th fatality reported in 2021, 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 #10

First published by MSHA.

MINE FATALITY – On Jan. 22, 2021, a shuttle car operator with 11 years of mining experience was in the operator’s compartment of his shuttle car, traveling through the last open crosscut, when a second shuttle car traveled through a ventilation curtain and struck his shuttle car. The corner of the second shuttle car entered the operator’s deck of the victim’s shuttle car. The operator was injured and passed away from the injuries on Feb. 21, 2021.

Accident scene where the miner was in the operator’s compartment of his shuttle car, traveling through the last open crosscut, when a second shuttle car traveled through a ventilation curtain and struck his shuttle car.
Photo property of MSHA.gov
Best Practices:
  • Install and maintain proximity detection systems on mobile section equipment.
  • Communicate your presence and intended movements.  Wait until miners acknowledge your message before moving your equipment.
  • Do not tram equipment through ventilation curtains.  Tram only through fly pads in designated haulage routes.
  • Use clear curtains for fly pads and ventilation controls on working sections.
  • STOP and SOUND an audible warning device before tramming equipment through fly pads.  Ensure directional lights are on when operating mobile equipment.
  • Avoid areas where equipment operators cannot readily see you.
  • Wear personal strobe light devices to increase visibility.
Additional Information:

This is the tenth fatality reported in 2021, and the sixth 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 #9

First published by MSHA.

MINE FATALITY – On April 22, 2021, a miner was fatally injured when leaving the mine site in his personal pickup truck.  The manual swing barrier gate was partially closed.  A gate pole entered the truck’s windshield as the pickup truck approached, striking the victim and causing fatal injuries.

Accident scene where a gate pole entered the truck’s windshield as the pickup truck approached, striking the victim and causing fatal injuries.
Photo property of MSHA.gov
Best Practices:
  • Ensure that manual swing barrier gates can be secured when opened or closed to prevent unintentional movement.
  • Paint or tape swing barrier gates with reflective and distinguished markings to differentiate them from their surroundings.  Install additional lighting near barrier gates.
  • Conduct thorough travelway examinations to identify and mitigate hazards.
  • Establish safetraffic patterns with proper signage. 
  • Be alert to road conditions and always keep a clear line of sight.
  • Maintain proper speed for road conditions.
Additional Information:

This is the ninth fatality reported in 2021, 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 #8

First published by MSHA.

MINE FATALITY – On April 19, 2021, a miner stopped his haul truck in front of his personal vehicle to get his lunch.  While standing and eating his lunch, the haul truck rolled forward, pinning the miner between the haul truck and his personal truck.

accident scene where while standing and eating his lunch, the haul truck rolled forward, pinning the miner between the haul truck and his personal truck.
Photo property of MSHA.gov
Best Practices:
  • Do not leave mobile equipment unattended unless the controls are placed in the park position and the brake is set.  NEVER use a steering column-mounted “dump brake” for parking.
  • When parking mobile equipment on a grade, chock the wheels or turn them into a bank. Maintain equipment braking systems in good repair and adjustment.
  • Position yourself in a safe location away from potential “danger-zone” areas.
  • Train miners to safely perform their tasks.
Additional Information:

This is the eighth fatality reported in 2021, and the fourth 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 #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.