The Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) reported that on Saturday, Jan. 5, a 55-year-old contract miner received fatal injuries when he was pinned between a pneumatically powered air lock equipment door and the concrete rib barrier located near the shaft bottom.
This is the first fatality reported in calendar year 2019 in the mining industry and it is classified as Machinery. As of this date in 2018 there were no fatalities in the mining industry.
MSHA recommends the following best practices to avoid this type of accident:
- Design and maintain ventilation controls, including airlock doors to provide air separation and permit travel between or within air courses or entries.
- Ensure that airlock doors are designed and maintained to prevent simultaneous opening of both sets of doors.
- Ensure miners are trained in the proper use of automatic doors and procedures to follow in the event the doors malfunction.
- Provide means to override automatic airlock doors and allow manual operation in case of an emergency.
- Keep the path of automatic doors clear of miners and equipment.
- When changes in ventilation are made, test automatic doors to ensure they operate safely under the new conditions.
- Perform thorough examinations of airlock doors to assure safe operating conditions. When a hazardous condition is found, remove the doors from service until they are repaired.