METAL/NONMETAL MINE FATALITY - On August 18, 1998 a 22-year-old driller's helper (contractor employee) with 2 years mining experience was fatally injured at an open pit mine. The victim had entered the cab of a drill truck to start the engine and engage the power take-off to start the drill. When he stepped out of the cab, he could not see the edge of the sump, located 48 inches from the truck, because of 12 inches of foam covering the sump and surrounding area. The victim fell into the sump and drowned in 3 feet of water.
Safe access must be provided to all working areas. Hidden hazards should be clearly marked and/or means should be provided to protect employees from such hazards.
This is the 33rd fatality reported in calendar year 1998 in the metal and nonmetal mining industries. As of this date in 1997, there were 45 fatalities reported in these industries. This is the sixth fatality classified as Slip/Fall of Person in 1998. There were four Slip/Fall of Person fatalities in the same period in 1997. (Please note the 1997 final fatality count was changed from 60 to 61 after the close of the calendar year).
For more information:
MSHA's Fatal Accident Investigation Report