No Fatalgram Published

Fatality #16 – April 18, 2014
Other (Drowning) – Surface – West Virginia
Law River Company, LLC – Crown Hill Dock

The date of the accident was April 18th, 2014. This case was determined to be a mining fatality on December 22, 2014.

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ftl2013m22On December 10, 2013, a 27-year old deck hand with 4 years and 8 months of experience drowned at a dredge operation. He was working on a dredge that had a barge attached to it. The victim stepped on the barge and fell into the water.

Best Practices

  • Task train all persons to recognize all potential hazardous conditions and ensure they understand safe job procedures for elimination of the hazards before beginning work.
  • Always wear a life jacket where there is a danger of falling into the water.
  • Remove snow and ice from work areas.
  • Ensure safe access is provided where persons are required to work or travel. Maintain three points of contact.
  • Install and use lifeline tie-off runs and fall protection.
  • Provide communication devices and establish procedures requiring persons to alert coworkers when they are outside the dredge’s handrails.

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

ftl2013c14On July 3, 2013, an 87-year-old contract employee was mowing an impoundment embankment with a skid steer machine equipped with a front-mounted brush mower. The victim was mowing the 40 degree embankment in a vertical direction when the machine traveled into the impounded water, submerging the machine, and drowning the operator.

Best Practices

  • Conduct a risk assessment prior to performing work and ensure that miners use proper equipment, tools, and procedures to eliminate hazards.
  • Provide hazard training to all personnel working on or near an impoundment for recognition of hazards associated with the impoundment.
  • Set up a communications protocol when persons are working alone.
  • Wear properly fitted personal floatation devices (PFD) when working around bodies of water.
  • Never assume an employee is knowledgeable in the task they are being assigned.

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

by | Categories: Coal, Mining Fatalities, Surface | Tagged: | No Comments

On Sunday, February 26, 2012, at 1:15 a.m., a 52-year-old deckhand with 4 years of mining experience was determined missing. He had been assigned the task of measuring the draft of a set of empty barges that were to be loaded. He had to cross from the dock to the first empty barge. Witnesses observed him on the empty barge walking up-river on the barge. He apparently fell from the barge into the water. Co-workers saw his cap in the water and immediately called for the rescue squad. The victim was found beneath the bow of the dock at approximately 2:30 a.m. The miner was wearing a flotation device, but the flotation device was not designed to keep an unconscious miner’s face above water.

Best Practices

  • Utilize electronic devices to determine the draft in barges.
  • Install and use lifeline tie-off systems to provide fall protection over water.
  • Utilize and maintain sufficient area lighting and personal lighting.
  • Set up a look out and communications protocol. Do not work alone.
  • Ensure safe access is provided where persons are required to work or travel. Watch footing and stay clear of ropes, cables, and other obstacles. Use de-icing material to clear ice from walkways. Maintain three points of contact where practicable.
  • Wear properly fitted personal flotation devices (PFD) that are designed to keep an unconscious miner’s face above water.
  • Utilize wearable electronic emergency warning systems to immediately notify others of a fall into water. These devices can be equipped with water activated strobe lights and global positioning system (GPS) tracking.
Click here for: MSHA Preliminary Report (pdf),  MSHA Investigation Report (pdf).
by | Categories: Coal, Mining Fatalities, Surface | Tagged: | No Comments

On August 14, 2010, a 23 year-old dredge operator with 4 years of experience died at a sand and gravel dredge operation. The victim and another miner were pulling a small boat from a dredge pond onto a boat trailer attached to a pickup truck. When the boat slipped back into the water, the victim attempted to retrieve it and drowned.

Best Practices
  • Wear a life jacket where there is a danger from falling into water.
  • Review procedures to ensure all possible hazards have been identified and appropriate controls are in place to protect miners before beginning work.
  • Develop procedures for loading and unloading boats in dredge operations and train all persons.
  • Inspect equipment, including the winch and cable, prior to use and maintain in a safe condition.
  • Attach the trailer winch rope securely to the boat prior to removing from the water.
  • Ensure that persons working around water receive training for swimming.

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