On October 17, 2017, a miner was fatally injured while operating a bulldozer on a downward slope. While pushing overburden to a rock bench below the top of the pit, he was ejected from the cab and run over by the left track. The machine continued to tram over the edge of the 58′ highwall.

Best Practices

  • Always wear a seatbelt when operating mobile equipment.
  • Never jump from moving mobile equipment.
  • Ensure that persons are trained, including task-training, to understand the hazards associated with the work being performed.
  • Block the dozer against motion by setting the parking brake and lowering the blade to the ground before dismounting equipment.  Set the transmission lock lever to ensure the transmission is in neutral.
  • Establish and discuss safe work procedures before beginning work. Identify and control all hazards associated with the work to be performed and use methods to properly protect persons.
  • Do not place yourself in a position that will expose you to hazards while performing a task.
  • Maintain control of mobile equipment while it is in motion.
  • Maintain equipment braking systems in good repair and adjustment. Do not depend on hydraulic systems to hold mobile equipment stationary.

Click here for: MSHA Preliminary Report (pdf)

On September 20, 2017, a contractor was fatally injured while rappelling within a conditioning tower.  The victim was examining the inside of a 300’ vertical conditioning tower when an object fell from above and struck him in the head. The victim was conscious and transported to a local hospital where he died of his injuries the next day.

Best Practices

  • Remove all loose materials and other hazards before working.
  • Have fall protection and available and ready for use.
  • Check bin atmosphere for oxygen content, combustible gases, and toxic contaminants.
  • Provide adequate lighting.
  • Be sure the person entering the bin is trained in safe entry and confined space procedures.
  • Have standby personnel available to observe and to assist in an emergency.

Click here for: MSHA Preliminary Report (pdf)

On Monday, October 23, 2017, a 48-year-old mine examiner with 19 years of mining experience, received fatal injuries after he fell on the No. 1 conveyor belt near the transfer point with the No. 2 conveyor belt and was transported by the belt conveyor system to the raw coal pile. It appears he was attempting to cross the No. 1 conveyor belt at the time of the accident.

Best Practices

  • Never attempt to cross a moving conveyor belt, except at suitable crossing facilities.
  • Train all employees thoroughly on the dangers of working on or traveling around moving conveyor belts.
  • Provide conveyor belt stop and start controls at areas where miners must access both sides of the belt.
  • Install practical and usable belt crossing facilities at strategic locations, including near controls, when height allows.
  • Install pull cords to disconnect power to the conveyor belt at strategic locations along the conveyor belt.

Click here for: MSHA Preliminary Report (pdf)

On Thursday, September 28, 2017, a 39-year-old miner with ten years of mining experience received fatal injuries when coal from the longwall face rolled out and completely covered him. The victim was assisting with roof bolting by untangling the mesh during the longwall recovery process. At the time of the accident, the victim was located between the coal face and the pan line.

Best Practices

  • DO NOT ENTER the panline, or any immediate work area, unless the roof and longwall face have been made safe. This includes reducing exposure by minimizing the distance from the face to the tips of the shield.
  • Scale roof, face, and ribs with a bar of suitable length and design or other safe means.
  • Ensure miners are trained on the minimum requirements of the approved roof control plan.
  • Conduct thorough and more frequent examinations of the roof, face, and ribs when miners work or travel close to the longwall face, and continuously monitor for changing conditions
  • Before beginning a longwall recovery, ensure miners are trained to recognize the hazards associated with the recovery area.
  • Be aware of and correct potential hazards when working or traveling near mine ribs, especially when conditions exist that could cause roof or rib disturbance.

Click here for: MSHA Preliminary Report (pdf)

On September 5, 2017, a 20-year old plant operator with 23 weeks of experience was fatally injured at a sand and gravel mine. The victim was performing maintenance on a belt conveyor when he became entangled in the tail pulley.

Best Practices

  • Establish policies and procedures for conducting specific tasks on belt conveyors.
  • Before beginning any work, ensure that persons assigned to work on belt conveyors are task trained and understand the hazards associated with the work to be performed.
  • Do not perform work on a belt conveyor until the power is off, locked, and tagged, and machinery components are blocked against motion.
  • Never clean pulleys or idlers manually while belt conveyors are operating.
  • Identify hazards around belt conveyor systems, design guarding, and securely install the guarding to ensure miners do not contact moving machine parts.

Click here for: MSHA Preliminary Report (pdf)

On July 27, 2017, a miner was fatally injured when his light-duty truck was run over by a haul truck. The victim was pronounced dead at the scene.

Best Practices

  •  Do not park smaller vehicles in a large truck’s potential path of movement.• Before moving mobile equipment, be certain no one is in the intended path; sound the horn to warn possible unseen persons; and wait to give them time to move to a safe location.
  • Ensure all persons are trained to recognize workplace hazards – specifically, the limited visibility and blind areas inherent to operation of large equipment and the hazard of mobile equipment traveling near them.
  • Establish procedures that require smaller vehicles to maintain a safe distance from large mobile equipment until eye contact is made or approval to move closer is obtained from the mobile equipment operator. Provide training on these procedures.
  • Install cameras and collision avoidance systems on large trucks to protect persons.
  • Regularly monitor work practices and reinforce their importance. Take immediate action to correct unsafe conditions or work practices.

Click here for: MSHA Preliminary Report (pdf)

On Friday, August 25, 2017, a 51-year-old mine examiner with 27 years of mining experience was killed when, near the transfer point with the No. 2 conveyor belt, he apparently lost his footing attempting to cross over the moving No. 1 conveyor belt. He fell onto the No. 1 belt and hit a belt crossover located approximately 10 feet outby. The victim was found beside the conveyor belt just outside the mine entrance.

Best Practices

  • Never attempt to cross a moving conveyor belt except at suitable crossing facilities.
  • Train all employees thoroughly on the dangers of working on or traveling around moving conveyor belts.
  • Provide conveyor belt stop and start controls at areas where miners must access both sides of the belt.
  • Install practical and usable belt crossing facilities at strategic locations, including near controls, when height allows.
  • Install pull cords and switches that control power to the belt along the wide side of the length of the conveyor belt to stop the belt in emergencies.

Click here for: MSHA Preliminary Report (pdf)

On August 3, 2017, a 32-year-old miner with 6 years of mining experience was fatally crushed while he was cutting one end of a metal beam.  He was dismantling a metal structure at a preparation plant when the beam fell on him.

Best Practices

  • Securely block equipment and components against hazardous motion at all times while performing work.
  • Ensure that blocking material is competent, substantial, and adequate to support the load.
  • Require all persons to be positioned where they will not be exposed to hazards.  Do not work in pinch points where inadvertent movement could cause injury.
  • Before beginning work, analyze all tasks, establish safe work procedures, train miners, and eliminate hazards.  Be alert for hazards that may be created while the work is being performed.
  • Monitor all persons to ensure safe work procedures, including safe work positioning, are followed.
  • When possible, do not allow miners to work alone.  If a miner works alone, establish a routine of checking on them.

Click here for: MSHA Preliminary Report (pdf)

On July 20, 2017, a miner was driving wedges into a block of granite in an attempt to break it loose.  A piece of granite weighing 9 tons fell and crushed the victim against the quarry floor.

Best Practices

  • Always conduct examinations of work place to identify loose ground or unstable conditions before work begins and as changing ground conditions warrant.
  • Ensure that the person conducting the examination has the training and experience to recognize potential hazards.
  • Danger off hazardous conditions and prohibit work or travel in areas where hazards from unstable ground have not been corrected.
  • Discuss work procedures and identify all hazards associated with the work to be performed along with the methods to protect personnel.

Click here for: MSHA Preliminary Report (pdf)

On July 25, 2017, a 28-year-old bulldozer operator with 1 year and 9 months of mining experience was fatally injured at a surface facility.  The victim was operating a bulldozer, pushing material off of a refuse bank before the accident occurred.  He was found lying in the bulldozer’s push path at the top of an incline near the edge of the refuse bank.  The bulldozer had run over the victim and continued over the edge of the incline, coming to rest at the bottom of the embankment.

Best Practices

  • Ensure that persons are trained, including task-training, to understand the hazards associated with the work being performed.
  • Maintain control of mobile equipment while it is in motion.
  • Maintain equipment braking systems in good repair and adjustment.  Conduct proper maintenance on safety related systems.
  • Before leaving a bulldozer unattended, operators should follow manufacturer recommended operating procedures to ensure that the equipment is secured from movement.  This could include disengaging the transmission, setting the parking brake, and lowering the bulldozer blade to the ground before dismounting the equipment.
  • Do not depend on hydraulic systems to hold mobile equipment stationary.
  • Establish and discuss safe work procedures before beginning work.  Identify and control all hazards associated with the work to be performed and use methods to properly protect persons.
  • Do not place yourself in a position that will expose you to hazards while performing a task.

Click here for: MSHA Preliminary Report (pdf)