MSHA Reports Three Fatalities

The Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) reported that on Feb. 25, a 26-year-old plant operator at Sierra Ready Mix Quarry Site, Clark County, Nev., died after entering a cyclone discharge box. The local fire department recovered the victim lodged in an 18-in. wide discharge pipe that was full of water.

This is the fifth fatality reported in 2021, and the first classified as “Slip or Fall of Person.”

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

  • Wear a fall protection harness, properly tie off to a permanent support structure, and attach a lifeline when entering a bin or other confined space. Have a second person monitor the lifeline to make sure there is no slack in the fall protection system.
  • Use personnel lifts or ladders to safely access elevated work areas.
  • Always use fall protection when there’s a potential fall hazard.
  • Examine work areas and equipment. Report defects and do not use unsafe work equipment.
  • Assess risks and hazards before beginning maintenance activities.
  • Train miners to safely perform their tasks and properly use their personal protective equipment.

MSHA reported that on March 5, a miner at Otter Creek Sand & Gravel Inc., Fulton County, Ill., was fatally injured when the excavator he was operating rolled over into a body of water.

This is the sixth fatality reported in 2021, and the second classified as “Machinery.”

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

  • Construct berms or install guardrails on roadways where a drop-off exists. Ensure berms and guardrails are at least as high as the mid-axle height of the largest equipment using the roadway.
  • Examine and maintain roadways to prevent slope instability such as over steepened banks, sloughs, and cracking on the roadway and bank.
  • Install locked gates at the entrances of roadways that are infrequently traveled. Post speed limit signs and install delineators at the edges of roads.
  • Always wear seatbelts when operating mobile equipment.
  • When working near water, wear flotation devices and ensure combination seat belt cutter/window breaker tools are installed in equipment.
  • Train equipment operators in the safe performance of their tasks, potential hazards, and the use of alternative/emergency exits in cabs. Examine these exits during pre-operational examinations.

At press time, MSHA also reported a seventh fatality, which occurred on March 12:

Accident Classification: Handling Material.
Location: Dredge Chesterfield, St Louis County, Mo.
Mine Type: Metal and Non-Metal.
Mine Controller: David J Bangert.
Mined Material: Sand Common.

No further details were available.

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