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MSHA Reports 2013 Accident Statistics

According to preliminary data released by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Mine Safety and Health Administration, 42 miners died in work-related accidents at the nation’s mines in 2013, an increase from the 36 miners who died in 2012. While mining fatalities occurred at a record low rate for the first three quarters of 2013, during the fourth quarter of 2013, six coal miners and nine metal/nonmetal miners died in mining accidents, a significant increase from the same period in 2012, when four coal miners and two metal/nonmetal miners died.

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Opening in Deck on Loader Deemed S&S Violation of Safe Access Standard

By Ellen Smith

A judge slightly increased MSHA’s proposed penalty from $873 to $900 for an S&S violation of MSHA’s “safe access” standard, §56.11001, where a front-end loader had an 18-in. opening in the handrail on the deck, and the driver had to access the deck to clean the loader’s windshield.

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The Pause That Refreshes

By Randy K. Logsdon

A major soft drink manufacturer once adopted the slogan “the pause that refreshes.” Television and magazine ads depicted young people taking a moment from their busy lives to relax and “refresh” while consuming the soft drink.

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Fatalities Hit Month of December

Three fatalities struck the aggregates industry in the month of December. On Dec. 4, a 63-year-old lead man with 16 years of experience was killed at a crushed stone mine. The victim initiated a blast and was struck by flyrock from the blast. He was standing 153 ft. from the nearest blast hole and was struck by rock as large as 19-in. long by 14-in. wide by 7-in. thick.

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Company Cannot Claim it ‘Lacked Adequate’ Notice of Bad Ball Joints

ESmithBy Ellen Smith
An ALJ improperly determined that a company lacked “adequate notice” when cited for four violations at its plant where an MSHA inspector alleged excessive movement in the ball joints of the steering linkage of four trucks.

Read more: Company Cannot Claim it ‘Lacked Adequate’ Notice of Bad Ball Joints