MSHA reported that on Nov.13, a pit wall at Wrens Plant, Jefferson, Ga., collapsed engulfing an excavator operator while he was outside of the excavator. This is the 37th fatality reported in 2023, and the first classified as “Fall of Face, Rib, Side or Highwall.”
MSHA recommends the following best practices to avoid this type of accident:
- Use appropriate mining methods when the material is steeper than its angle of repose. 1) Install appropriate benches and trenches when necessary. 2) Scale highwalls to eliminate hazards, e.g., steep slopes or overhangs.
- Establish and discuss safe work procedures before beginning work. Identify and control all hazards associated with the work to be performed and the methods to properly protect miners.
- Train miners to assess risks and hazards and correct or barricade hazards to prevent access before beginning work activities.