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 Offering $1M in Safety Grants

First published by MSHA.

WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S. Department of Labor’s Mine Safety and Health Administration announced today the availability of up to $1 million to fund grants to support education and training to help mine workers identify, avoid and prevent unsafe working conditions.

The funding, made available by the department’s Brookwood-Sago grant program, will enable grant recipients to develop training materials, provide mine safety training or educational programs, recruit mine operators and miners for training, and conduct and evaluate training. The amount of each individual grant will be at least $50,000, and the maximum individual award will be up to $1 million.

Administered by MSHA, the 2021 selection process will include special consideration for programs that focus on powered haulage (in particular, reducing vehicle-on-vehicle collisions, increasing seat belt use and improving belt conveyor safety), improving safety among contractors, reducing electrocutions, improving training for new and inexperienced miners, mine emergency prevention and preparedness, falls from equipment, respiratory hazards and other programs to prevent unsafe conditions in mines.

MSHA will also place special emphasis on programs and materials that target miners at smaller mines, including training miners and employers about new MSHA standards, high-risk activities or hazards MSHA identifies.

Visit grants.gov to apply for the Brookwood-Sago grants. Applications must be received by May 27, 2021. MSHA will award grants on or before Sept. 30, 2021.

The Mine Improvement and New Emergency Response Act of 2006 established the Brookwood-Sago grant program in honor of the 25 miners who died at the Jim Walter Resources #5 mine in Brookwood, Alabama, in 2001 and at the Sago Mine in Buckhannon, West Virginia, in 2006.


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 Training Grants

First published by MSHA.

US Department of Labor Announces Availability of $10.5 Million for Mine Safety Training Grants

ARLINGTON, VA – The U.S. Department of Labor’s Mine Safety and Health Administration today announced the availability of $10,537,000 in state grant funding to provide training and retraining of miners and mine operators working at surface and underground coal and metal and nonmetal mines. The training is federally mandated.

Any state in which mining takes place may apply for the grant. MSHA may fund 80 percent of the activities under a state grant program, and the state must provide at least 20 percent of the total program costs.

The closing date for applications is May 27, 2021. MSHA will award grants on or before Sept. 30, 2021.

MSHA’s goal is to prevent fatalities, disease and injury from mining and secure safe and healthful working conditions for America’s miners. MSHA recognizes the importance of training miners and others to prevent workplace injuries, fatalities, and illnesses.

Agency Mine Safety & Health Administration

Date March 29, 2021

Release Number 21-307-NAT
Contact: Laura McGinnis
Phone Number 202-693-4653
Emailmcginnis.laura.k@dol.gov

Contact: Grant Vaught
Phone Number 202-693-4672
Emailvaught.grant.e@dol.gov


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 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.