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METAL/NONMETAL MINE FATALITY - On January 21, 1998, a 33-year old laborer with 5 years of mining experience was seriously injured while using a sledge hammer to dislodge a rock in the jaw crusher. The victim was standing on a ladder and appeared to have been attempting to push the boulder into the running crusher with the hammer end of the sledge hammer. The hammer was ejected by the moving crusher jaw. The steel handle struck the victim in the head and he fell approximately 12 feet to the ground. He received severe head injuries and died eight days later.

Best Practices

  • Equipment should be deenergized, locked-out and tagged before performing maintenance.

  • Workers should wear safety belts and lines when a fall hazard exists.

  • Safe access to working areas should be provided.

  • Tool repairs or modifications should be in accordance with the manufacturers' recommendations.
  • This is the eighth 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 Handtools in 1998. There were no Handtool fatalities in the same period in 1997.

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