m24On December 29, 2014, a 21-year-old warehouse bagger with 1 week of experience was killed at a clay mine. The victim was operating a forklift, hauling a bag of dust, when the forklift overturned.

Best Practices

  • Indoctrinate new employees in safety rules and safe work procedures.
  • Task train mobile equipment operators adequately in all phases of mobile equipment operation before operating mobile equipment.
  • Monitor new miners routinely to determine that safe work procedures are followed.
  • Conduct adequate pre-operational checks and correct any defects affecting safety in a timely manner prior to operating mobile equipment.
  • Ensure the load being transported is within the weight capacity of the machine and within the reach limits for stable operation.
  • Ensure the load being transported is secured to prevent shifting.
  • Always wear a seat belt when operating self-propelled mobile equipment.
  • Maintain control of self-propelled mobile equipment while it is in motion.
  • Operate mobile equipment at speeds consistent with the conditions of roadways, tracks, grades, clearance, visibility, curves, and traffic.

Click here for: MSHA Preliminary Report (pdf)

ftl2014m08On April 24, 2014, a 50-year-old contract dozer operator with 23 years of experience was killed at a fire clay mine.  He had been operating a dozer pushing clay in the pit and was found lying five feet behind the dozer.

Best Practices

  • Ensure that persons are trained, including task-training, to understand the hazards associated with the work being performed.
  • 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.
  • Set the parking brake and lower the bull dozer blade to the ground before dismounting equipment.
  • Never jump from mobile equipment.
  • Always wear a seat belt when operating mobile equipment.
  • Monitor persons routinely to determine safe work procedures are followed.

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

On October 10, 2012, a 55-year old contract painter with 35 years of experience was killed at a kaolin and ball clay operation. He was standing on the bottom of a 40-foot high, 50-foot diameter tank that was open to the atmosphere and covered with mesh cloth material. He was spraying coal tar on the inside walls of the tank and was found unconscious by coworkers. He was recovered by emergency personnel and pronounced dead at a hospital.

Best Practices

  • Develop, implement, and maintain a written Hazard Communication (HazCom) program.
  • Ensure that a Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) is accessible to persons for each hazardous chemical to which they may be exposed.
  • Review and discuss MSDS control section recommendations with employees that may be exposed to hazardous chemicals. Establish and discuss safe work procedures before starting any work and identify and control all hazards.
  • Train all persons to recognize and understand safe job procedures, including the physical and health hazards of chemicals that are being used and the proper use of respiratory protection, gloves, body suits, hearing, and eye & face protection.
  • Ensure that adequate ventilation is provided to all work areas.
  • Ensure that persons are not required to perform work alone in any area where hazardous conditions exist that would endanger their safety.
  • Conduct air monitoring with calibrated instruments to ensure a safe working atmosphere. Air monitoring should be done prior to workers entering the confined work space and continuously till the workers have exited the enclosed area. Atmospheric monitoring at minimum includes Oxygen, LEL and all potential toxic gases in the work place.

Based on MSHA’s investigation and the finding of the death certificate, MSHA later concluded that the miner died from natural causes and that the fatality is not chargeable.

mnm fatality number 19 for 2010On October 20, 2010, a 63 year- old contract truck driver with 41 years of experience died at a fuller’s earth (clay) operation. The victim backed his trailer into a bay at the mine loading dock. He got out of his truck and walked to an adjacent bay to discuss the loading procedures with the fork lift operator. At that time, a second trailer was being moved into the bay and it struck the victim, pinning him against the loading dock.

Best Practices

  • Establish a control policy that includes signs directing all truck drivers to report to a designated office clear of the dock and truck travel areas when dropping or picking up loads.
  • Train all persons to recognize work place hazards and to stay clear of normal paths of travel of mobile equipment.
  • Provide a clearly marked, safe area for pedestrian access to the facility. Clearly mark areas that are unsafe for pedestrian access and prevent entry into those areas.
  • Ensure that illumination is sufficient at the work site.
  • Before moving mobile equipment, look in the direction of travel, use all mirrors, cameras, backup alarms, and installed proximity detection devices to ensure no one is in the intended path.
  • Sound the horn to warn persons of movement and wait to give them time to get to a safe location.
  • Communicate with mobile equipment operators and ensure they acknowledge your presence.
  • Wear high visibility clothing when working around mobile equipment.

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

On May 2, 2009, a 51-year old front-end loader operator with 8 weeks of experience was fatally injured at a surface clay operation. The victim parked a front-end loader on a loading ramp and was run over by the machine after he exited it.

Best Practices

  • Keep unauthorized persons out of the cabs of mobile equipment.
  • Never leave mobile equipment unattended unless the controls are placed in the park position and the parking brake is set.
  • Lower the bucket to the ground when parking mobile equipment.
  • Chock or turn the wheels when parked on a grade.

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