MSHA reported that on Sept. 8, a miner at Clyde Holding’s Sewickley Mine, Indiana, Pa., died after entering a hopper to clear an obstruction. A front-end loader dumped two loads of crushed limestone into the hopper with the miner inside.
This is the 31st fatality reported in 2023, and the seventh classified as “Powered Haulage.”
MSHA recommends the following best practices to avoid this type of accident:
- Install barricades to prevent mobile equipment access to bins and hoppers when miners are working in them.
- Establish and train miners on procedures for safely clearing bins and hoppers.
- Lock-out and tag-out the supply and discharge equipment before entering bins and hoppers.
- Wear a safety belt or harness equipped with a lifeline in a confined space.
- Equip bins and hoppers with vibrating shakers or air cannons to prevent material blockages.