The Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) reported that on May 2, a miner entered a dredged sand and gravel bin through a lower access hatch to clear an obstruction. The miner was clearing the blockage with a bar when the material inside the bin fell and engulfed him.
The fatality took place at Enon Sand & Gravel, Clark, Ohio. This is the seventh fatality reported in 2020, and the second classified as “Handling Material.”
MSHA recommends the following best practices to avoid this type of accident:
- Lock-out, tag-out. Never enter a bin until the supply and discharge equipment is locked out.
- Train miners to recognize and safely remove all potential hazards before beginning work and when clearing blocked hoppers.
- Equip bins with mechanical devices such as vibrating shakers or air cannons to loosen blockages, or provide other effective means of handling material so miners are not exposed to entrapment hazards by falling or sliding material.
- Follow manufacturer recommendations for clearing out blockages.
- Establish and discuss policies and procedures for safely clearing bins.
- Install a heavy screen (grizzly) to control the size of the material and prevent clogging.