MSHA Reports March Impact Inspections, Q1 Fatalities

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Mine Safety and Health Administration announced that federal inspectors issued 188 citations and two orders as a result of special impact inspections conducted at 13 coal mines and seven metal and nonmetal mines in March.

Begun in force in April 2010, the monthly inspections involve mines that merit increased agency attention and enforcement due to their poor compliance history or particular compliance concerns. The following are the details of one mine’s inspection:

MSHA began an impact inspection on March 16 at Georgia Stone Industries, Inc.’s Chelmsford Quarry in Middlesex County, Mass. MSHA inspectors issued 21 citations and one order to the mine operator.

A 104(g)(1) withdrawal order was issued for failure to adequately train three miners who were conducting workplace examinations. The serious hazards that were not identified or corrected as a result of the workplace examination failures included damaged ladders that were in use, openings in travelways that were not covered or otherwise protected, elevated work platforms without railings, and several exposed electrical conductors.

Since April 2010, MSHA has conducted 916 impact inspections and issued 14,139 citations, 1,246 orders and 56 safeguards.

MSHA also issued a report on first-quarter fatalities. In metal and nonmetal mining, two miners were killed in machinery accidents.

A 57-year-old miner was operating an excavator near a ditch when the excavator tipped on its side and went in the water. The miner was removed from the cab and transported to a hospital, where he died.

A 48-year-old miner was operating a walk-behind masonry saw, positioned between the saw and a ledge, when he tripped and fell. The victim and the saw went over the 4-½ ft. ledge, and the saw fell on him.

A 63-year-old contractor was severely injured while installing new screen panels in the B tower screen. The feeder box pivoted, pinning him between the box and the rear support beam of the screen deck. The victim was transported to a hospital where he died.

A 44-year-old truck driver was operating a loaded articulated haul truck on an elevated haul road adjacent to a dredge pond. After traveling about 125 yd. from the loading point, the haul truck drifted into the water. The victim was removed from the truck, transported to a hospital, then transferred to a trauma center where he died two days later.

A 53-year-old miner was on a work platform on top of a skip traveling up the ventilation shaft when he struck a cross member in the shaft.

A 54-year-old miner was operating a mechanical scaler in an intersection when a roof fall occurred and covered the machine.

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