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MSHA Issues Fatality Update


According to MSHA, on Dec. 8, 2011, a 41-year-old crusher operator with eight years of experience was killed at a surface stone operation. A set of wheels was to be placed on a conveyor to transport it from the mine. A front-end loader was being used to lift the conveyor when the loader bucket suddenly dropped, allowing the frame of the conveyor to strike one of the tire assemblies. The tire assembly then shifted, striking the victim.

Best Practices:

  • Inspect mobile equipment before placing it in operation for the shift.
  • Correct safety defects on equipment in a timely manner to prevent the creation of a hazard to persons.
  • Establish safe work procedures and identify and remove hazards before beginning a task.
  • Ensure that persons are task-trained and understand the hazards associated with the work being performed.
  • Do not place yourself in a position that will expose you to hazards while performing a task.
  • Monitor personnel routinely to determine that safe work procedures are followed.

On Dec. 15, 2011, a 22-year-old laborer with three months of experience was killed at a surface stone operation. The victim, who was last seen on a control tower, fell into an operating jaw crusher.

The two recent fatalities are the 15th and 16th reported in calendar year 2011 in the metal and nonmetal mining industries. As of this date in 2010, there were 30 fatalities reported in these industries. This is the 4th Powered Haulage fatality in 2011. There were 3 Machinery fatalities in the same period in 2010.

Best Practices

  • Always use fall protection when working where a fall hazard exists.
  • Establish policies and procedures for safely clearing plugged material in a jaw crusher.
  • Ensure that persons are task trained and understand the hazards associated with the work being performed.
  • Deenergize and Lock-out/tag-out all power sources before working on crushers.
  • Do not place yourself in a position that will expose you to hazards.
  • Monitor personnel routinely to determine that safe work procedures are followed.