m21On November 18, 2014, a 42-year-old contract supervisor with 19½ years of experience was killed at an alumina operation.  A crane was lifting a 2,500 pound door to be installed on a filtrate tank.  The welded lifting eye on the door broke loose and the door fell, pinning the victim on the concrete floor.

Best Practices

  • Establish and discuss safe work procedures before beginning work.
  • Identify and control all hazards associated with the work to be performed.
  • Task train all persons to understand safe job procedures and to stay clear of suspended loads.
  • Use welded lifting eyes that are specifically intended for lifting and adequately rated for the loads being lifted.
  • Use certified welders and good quality welds when attaching lifting eyes or lugs.
  • Ensure the weld metal is compatible with the base metal of the connecting components and thoroughly clean any rust or scale from a surface prior to welding.
  • Carefully inspect all rigging prior to each use.
  • Attach taglines to loads that may need steadied or to be guided while suspended.
  • Avoid extreme side loading on a lifting eye or lug unless it is designed to handle such loading.
  • Monitor persons routinely to determine safe work procedures are followed.

Click here for: MSHA Preliminary Report (pdf)

On January 31, 2009, a 40 year-old contractor technician with 36 weeks of experience was fatally injured at an alumina milling operation. He was cleaning hydrate that had built up inside a 30-inch pipe in the plant. The victim was using a high pressure water hose when the unrestrained hose end and attachment blew out of the pipe. He was struck by the water.

Best Practices
  • Establish, review, and follow procedures to ensure all hazards are identified and controls are used to protect persons before beginning work.
  • Train persons on hazards and safe work procedures for high pressure water cleaning.
  • Ensure that operators are in a safe position and have control of their equipment at all times.
  • Install barricades or warning signs to prohibit access.
  • Follow equipment manufacturers’ operating instructions.
  • Provide emergency stop/depressurization control.
  • Maintain sight or voice communications between person operating the high pressure nozzle and person operating the controls.
  • Use special protective equipment and clothing.
  • Contractor and mine management should routinely monitor work activities to ensure safe operating procedures are followed and persons are protected from hazards.

Click here for: MSHA Investigation Report(pdf), Overview(powerpoint), Overview(pdf)