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Superior Silica Sands Worker Killed by Runaway Train


The Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) reported that on June 23, a 39-year-old electrician with 10 weeks of experience was fatally injured while trying to stop runaway railcars at Superior Silica Sands’ San Antonio Plant.

The miner ran to the front of a set of moving railcars and jumped on in order to set the hand brake. The miner then attempted to jump clear and was fatally injured when he was run over by the moving railcars.

This is the sixth fatality reported in calendar year 2018 in metal and nonmetal mining. As of this date in 2018, there were four fatalities reported in metal and nonmetal mining. This is the first Non-Powered Haulage fatality in 2018. There were no Non-Powered Haulage fatalities during the same period in 2017.

MSHA recommends the following best practices to avoid this type of accident:
• Apply a mechanical hand brake to ensure a railcar does not move when it is stopped for loading, unloading or storage. Use wheel chocks or derail devices for added protection against accidental movement.
• Never attempt to mount, crossover, cross under or dismount a railcar while it is moving.
• Train personnel in the safe procedures of working with railcars. Establish safe work procedures and ensure all personnel involved communicate clearly with each other.