MSHA Reports First Fatality of 2021

The Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) reported that on Jan. 16, a miner was fatally injured while using a tool to remove a down-the-hole hammer. The drill motor turned unexpectedly, pinning the driller’s leg between the tool and the drill mast. The accident took place at Red Dog Operations, Northeast Arctic, Alaska.

This is the first fatality reported in 2021, and the first classified as “Machinery.”

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

  • Establish and discuss safe work procedures before starting any task.
  • Identify and control all hazards. Train all workers to recognize potential hazards and understand safe job procedures to eliminate hazards before beginning work.
  • Follow manufacturer’s procedures for using equipment, and monitor employees for compliance.
  • Position yourself in a safe location away from potential “danger-zone” areas.
  • Train miners to safely perform their tasks.
  • Conduct equipment inspections and correct any defects affecting safety.

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