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MSHAMarch 14, 2014 – On Feb. 28, 2014, a 50-year-old supervisor with 27 years of experience was killed at a sand and gravel operation. The victim was at a backfill site and approached an 80-ft. high bank when it failed, engulfing him. MSHA recommends the following best practices to avoid tragedies such as this one.

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 persons.

Task train all persons to recognize all potential hazardous conditions that can decrease bank or slope stability and ensure they understand safe job procedures for elimination of the hazards.

Prior to beginning work and as ground conditions warrant during the shift, examine all pit, highwall, slope and bank conditions. Be especially vigilant for these conditions after each rain, freeze, or thaw.

Use mining methods that ensure pit, highwall, slope and bank stability and safe working conditions.

Correct hazardous conditions by working from a safe location.

Stay clear of potentially unstable areas.