m19aOn September 26, 2014, a 55-year-old maintenance mechanic with approximately 2 years of experience was killed on the surface of an underground salt mine.  The victim was performing maintenance on a forklift in a mill building when the forklift moved forward, pinning him against a wooden support pole.

Best Practices

  • Conduct a pre-operational check to identify and correct any defects that may affect the safe operation prior to operating mobile equipment.  Remove the mobile equipment from service if any defective items are not corrected.
  • 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.
  • Ensure that persons are trained, including task-training, to address the hazards associated with the work being performed.
  • Block and secure equipment against motion before performing maintenance.
  • Follow the equipment manufacturers recommended maintenance procedures when performing repairs to machinery.
  • Ensure that equipment control switches are in the off position and the brake is set before performing maintenance.
  • Always be aware of your surroundings and any hazards that may be present.

Click here for: MSHA Preliminary Report (pdf)

ftl2013m05On April 16, 2013, a 58-year old shaftman with 32 years of experience was seriously injured at an underground salt mine. The victim and two coworkers were replacing a bushing on the side of a skip hoist in the production shaft. The victim was standing on a steel beam outside the handrails of a covered work platform where the coworkers were standing, when a piece of salt fell and struck him. He was transported to a hospital where he died on April 17, 2013.

Best Practices

  • Establish and discuss safe work procedures. Identify and control all hazards associated with the work to be performed in a shaft with the methods to properly protect persons.
  • Task train all persons to recognize all potential hazardous conditions and to understand safe job procedures for elimination of the hazards, such as falling material, before beginning work.
  • Examine the shaft and remove loose material prior to commencing work.
  • Implement measures to ensure persons are properly positioned and protected from falling material while performing shaft maintenance work.
  • Perform shaft maintenance work from a substantial platform with adequate overhead protection.
  • Perform maintenance work for skip hoists and other conveyances on the surface whenever possible.
  • Monitor personnel routinely to determine that safe work procedures are followed.

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

On March 24, 2010, a 63 year-old contract truck driver with 21 years of experience was fatally injured at a surface area of an underground salt mine. The victim was loading his truck under a 150 ton salt bin when it collapsed, falling onto the cab of the truck. A second victim working in the area received serious injuries.

Best Practices

  • Routinely examine metal structures for indications of weakened structural soundness (corrosion, fatigue cracks, bent/buckling beams, braces or columns, loose/missing connectors, broken welds, etc.).
  • Keep corrosive material spillage/build-up removed from metal structures.
  • Report all areas where indications of structural weakness are found.

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

On June 20, 2009, a 52-year old equipment oiler/greaser with 24 years of experience was fatally injured at an underground salt mine. He was cleaning equipment when a large roof fall occurred.

Best Practices
  • When ground conditions create a hazard to persons, install effective ground support before other work is permitted in the affected area.
  • Design, install, and maintain a support system to control the ground in places where persons work or travel.
  • Examine and test ground conditions in areas where work is to be performed prior to work commencing and as ground conditions warrant during the shift.
  • Be alert to any change of ground conditions.
  • Identify and scale loose ground from a location which will not expose persons to falling material.

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