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MSHA Reports Recent Fatalities


The Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) reported that on June 10, a 22-year-old contractor with three years of experience, was fatally injured when he was pinned between a front-end loader and a concrete block. 

The victim was working in a conduit trench, preparing to install a junction box. The plant manager was using a front-end loader above to back fill the trench. The front-end loader over travelled the edge and toppled into the trench.

This is the 10th MSHA fatality reported in calendar year 2019. As of this date in 2018, there were nine MSHA fatalities reported. This is the fourth Powered Haulage accident classification fatality in 2019. There were five fatalities classified as a Powered Haulage accident during the same period in 2018.

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

  • Establish and discuss safe work procedures. Identify and eliminate or control all hazards associated with the task being performed.
  • Train and monitor persons on safe work positioning.
  • Keep mobile equipment a safe distance from the edge of unstable ground, open excavations, and steep embankments.
  • Operating speeds should be consistent with conditions of roadways, grades, and the type of equipment used.
  • Assure equipment operators are familiar with their working environment. Front-end loader operators must ensure personnel are not near the machine when in operation.

On June 24, a 34-year-old contractor with 10 years of experience, received fatal injuries when he fell beneath the wheels of a tractor-trailer.

Miners were using a bulldozer to pull the tractor-trailer, which had become stuck in the sand. As the tractor-trailer began to be pulled, the victim was seen walking toward the side of the truck. The victim died at the scene from crushing injuries after being run over by the truck wheels.

This is the 11th MSHA fatality reported in calendar year 2019. As of this date in 2018, there were 11 MSHA fatalities reported. 

This is the fifth Powered Haulage accident classification fatality in 2019. There were six Powered Haulage accident classification fatalities during the same period in 2018.

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

  • Do not allow people to ride in any area of a vehicle that is not equipped with a seat belt.
  • When approaching large mobile equipment, do not proceed until you communicate and verify with the equipment operator your planned movement and location. 
  • Stay in the line of sight with mobile equipment operators. Never assume the equipment operator sees you.
  • Ensure, by signal or other means, that all persons are clear before moving equipment.