The Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) reported that on July 31 a 62-year-old foreman with 40 years of experience was fatally injured while dismantling a portable crusher at Susag Sand & Gravel Inc. in Wells County, N.D.
A front-end loader was placing a 20-ft.-long steel tube onto the screen feed conveyor. The front-end loader operator lowered the bucket and crushed the victim against the conveyor structure.
This is the seventh fatality reported in calendar year 2018 in metal and nonmetal mining. As of this date in 2017, there were seven fatalities reported in metal and nonmetal mining. This is the fourth Powered Haulage fatality in 2018. There were three Powered Haulage fatalities during the same period in 2017.
MSHA recommends the following best practices to avoid this type of accident.
- Front-end loader operators must ensure personnel are not near the machine when in operation.
- Use cranes with appropriate rigging and tag lines to position components.
- When working near equipment, make eye contact with the equipment operator and directly communicate your intended movements.
- Wear a reflective vest or clothing while working.
- Ensure all persons are trained to recognize workplace hazards – specifically, the limited visibility and blind areas inherent to operation of large equipment.
- Prior to starting the task, train miners on proper maintenance procedures and discuss steps that will be taken to safely perform the job.