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METAL/NONMETAL MINE FATALITY - On March 6, 1998, a 48-year old deck hand with 22 weeks of mining experience was fatally injured at a dredge operation. The victim had been doing maintenance work, including painting new tide boards. A clamshell operator was loading a barge with aggregate. When the barge was loaded, he signaled the victim by sounding a horn. He needed to discuss the procedure they were going to use when they "cut the barge loose" to be moved by a tugboat. The clamshell operator could not locate the victim and radioed for assistance. He got in a small skiff to search the area around the barge. When the skiff was moved, the victim was found floating nearby. He apparently had been under the bow of the skiff. He was wearing an approved life vest.

Best Practices

Personal floatation devices which will keep a person's head afloat should be worn when working near water.

This is the eleventh fatality reported in calendar year 1998 in the metal and nonmetal mining industries. As of this date in 1997, there were 15 fatalities reported in these industries. This is the first fatality classified as Other in 1998. There were no Other fatalities in the same period in 1997.

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