MSHA Reports 22nd Fatality of 2019

The Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) reported that a contract maintenance mechanic was performing elevator maintenance when the car descended, crushing the mechanic against an elevator platform. The person died at the scene on Dec. 3.

This is the 22nd fatality reported in 2019, and the seventh fatality classified as “Machinery.”

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

  • De-energize, lock out and tag out, and block machinery or equipment that can injure miners – before entering the area.
  • Post warning signs or barricades to keep miners out of areas where health or safety hazards exist.
  • Install an audible alarm to warn of impending equipment movement.
  • Evaluate and correct possible hazards promptly before working.
  • Train personnel in safely using handrails and fall protection equipment during maintenance and construction activities. Ensure their use.
Fatality Investigated

MSHA is investigating a death at the Wendling Quarry near Garrison, Iowa, according to news reports. Michael L. Griffith, 30, of Vinton, Iowa, died after being trapped in a rock bin Jan. 8, the Benton County Sheriff’s Office reported.

Wendling safety officers reported the accident to MSHA, said John Kulper, Wendling safety director. Kulper said he did not yet know how Griffith became trapped in the bin, which has a conveyor belt that delivers finished limestone from the quarry to trucks. Griffith’s death was the first fatality in the company’s history, Kulper said. 

Wendling Quarries currently operates approximately 100 quarries in its service area and employs an average of 200 employees. 

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