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METAL/NONMETAL MINE FATALITY - On January 19, 1998, a surveyor, with 8 years of mining experience, was killed at an underground lead/zinc mine. The victim was setting up his survey instruments in an intersection that was approximately 32 feet square and 16 feet high. An area of the back approximately 10 feet by 20 feet and weighing an estimated 12 tons fell on him. Reportedly, this intersection had been visually examined after blasting a few days earlier, however, the back had not been tested for loose ground conditions.

Best Practices

Ground conditions should be tested, as well as visually examined, after blasting and prior to work commencing, or as ground conditions warrant.

Loose ground must be taken down or supported.

When manual scaling is required, a scaling bar should be provided

This is the second fatality reported in calendar year 1998 in the metal and nonmetal mining industries. As of this date in 1997, there were four fatalities reported in these industries. This is the first fatality classified as Fall of Roof in 1998. There were no Fall of Roof fatalities during the same period in 1997.

For more information:
Fatal Alert Bulletin Icon MSHA's Fatal Accident Investigation Report