- Written by Mark Kuhar
May 23, 2011 – MSHA reports that on April 25, 2011, a 31 year- old drill operator with six weeks of experience was killed at an underground crushed stone operation. He was walking in a crosscut when a slab of roof, approximately 5 ft. wide x 6 ft. long x 10 in. thick, struck him. This is the fifth fatality reported in calendar year 2011 in the metal and nonmetal mining sectors. As of this date in 2010, there were three fatalities reported in these sectors. MSHA Best Practices specific to this fatality include: Train workers to identify work place hazards and take action to correct them; design, install, and maintain a support system to control the ground in places where employees work or travel; examine and test ground conditions in areas where work is to be performed prior to work commencing and as ground conditions warrant during the shift; when ground conditions create a hazard to workers, install additional ground support before other work is permitted in the affected area; and be alert to any change of ground conditions.