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MSHA Reports Fourth Fatality of 2019


The Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) reported that on March 7, a 46-year-old contractor with three years of experience was fatally injured when he lost his balance and fell backwards through a narrow gap between two log washers and landed on a cable tray approximately 12 ft. below. The victim was changing drive belts on a log washer motor when his wrench slipped off of a bolt he was tightening, causing the loss of balance.

This is the fourth MSHA fatality reported in calendar year 2019. As of this date in 2018, there were three MSHA fatalities reported.  This is the 1st MSHA fatality classified as Fall of Person in 2019.  There were no MSHA fatality classified as Fall of Person during the same period in 2018.

MSHA recommends the following best practices to avoid this type of accident:

  • Always use fall protection equipment, safety belts and lines, when working at heights and near openings where there is a danger of falling.
  • Always be aware of your surroundings and any hazards that may be present.
  • Have properly designed handrails, guards, and covers securely in place at openings through which persons may fall.
  • Train personnel in safe work procedures regarding the use of handrails and fall protection equipment during maintenance and construction activities and ensure their use.
  • Conduct workplace examinations in order to identify and correct hazards prior to performing work.