According to MSHA, on Sept. 18, a 56-year-old front-end loader operator with 16 years of experience was killed at a crushed stone operation. The victim was attempting to remove a rock from a pug mill hopper when he was engulfed by the material in the hopper.
MSHA recommends the following best practices to avoid injuries or fatalities such as this one:
■ Establish and discuss policies and procedures for safely clearing a hopper.
■ Equip hoppers with mechanical devices or other
effective means of handling material so persons are not required to work where they are exposed to entrapment by sliding material.
■ Install a heavy screen (grizzly) to control the size of material and prevent clogging.
■ Task train persons to recognize all potential hazardous conditions and to understand safe job procedures for elimination of the hazards before beginning work.
■ Before working on or near equipment, ensure that the discharge operating controls are de-energized and locked out.
■ Wear a safety harness and lanyard, which is securely anchored and tended by another person, prior to entering bins, hoppers, tanks or silos.