MSHA Issues Close Call Accident Alert After Material Slide

The Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) reported that on April 18, a front-end loader operator observed that a portion of the “dirt dump” or refuse pile located on the top rim of the quarry had sloughed and the material had slid down to multiple benches below.  

An estimated 10,000 to 15,000 tons of material was involved in the slide. There were no injuries. The “dirt dump” was barricaded and posted against entry.

MSHA recommends the following best practices to avoid this type of accident:

  • Diligent monitoring and examination of slopes for signs of instability is imperative for protecting miners.
  • Maintain safe operational practices for the protection of personnel, equipment and facilities.
  • Properly grade surfaces of dump piles to permit water to drain from the area.
  • Provide warning of instability so action can be taken to minimize the impact of slope displacement.
  • Provide crucial geotechnical information to analyze slope stability and design slopes to prevent instability.
  • Once cracks are detected, the condition should be evaluated by a qualified engineer. Equipment should not operate across cracks until they are evaluated and the stability of the ground determined.

This alert can be posted on bulletin boards, used in safety talks, or given to miners and contractors as a hand out.

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