m27On June 14, 2014, Kevin Lee Ames, a 35-year-old laborer, was using a propane torch to shrink-wrap pelletized gypsum when he received serious burns on 35% of his body. He was subsequently discovered by a co-worker and transported to a hospital. He died on July 28, 2014. The death certificate indicated that the cause of death was mucormycosis (fungal infection) due to burns, and that the manner of death was an accident. An autopsy was not performed. Based on the findings of the death certificate and the MSHA investigation, the Fatality Review Committee determined that the death should be charged to the mining industry.

[SafeMiners.com note: We’re posting these much later, catching up from late notice and even later pictures from MSHA for the reasons noted above.]

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

ftl2014m11On May 1, 2014, a 57-year-old co-owner with 1 year of experience was killed at a gypsum mine.  The victim was driving an all terrain vehicle on the mine site to place signs around the perimeter of the mine.  He lost control of the vehicle while traveling on a steep hill and it overturned onto him.

Best Practices

  • Ensure that persons are trained to understand the hazards associated with the work being performed.
  • Ensure that operators are properly task trained before operating mobile equipment they may not be familiar with.
  • Maintain operating speeds consistent with road grades and conditions.
  • Load equipment and/or supplies properly on mobile equipment to ensure stability during operation.

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

ftl2013m06On April 27, 2013, a 58-year old mechanic with 2 years of experience was killed at a surface gypsum operation. The victim was clearing a blockage on a mobile track-mounted crusher when he became entangled in the discharge conveyor.

Best Practices

  • Establish policies and procedures for conducting specific tasks on belt conveyors.
  • Before beginning any work, ensure that persons 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.
  • Provide emergency stop mechanisms at the control panel(s) and at ground level where maintenance or repair work is performed.
  • Provide appropriate controls to protect any person working near a stalled conveyor from unexpected motion.
  • Maintain communications with all persons performing the task. Before starting belt conveyors, ensure that all persons are clear.

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