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METAL/NONMETAL MINE FATALITY - On January 27, 1999, a 51-year-old co-owner of a contracting firm with 10 years contracting experience was fatally injured at a cement plant. His crew had been removing old cement which had built up inside the storage silos. The victim entered the silo and stood on crusted cement while attempting to remove material from the wall. He was not using a safety belt attached to a lifeline and was buried by material which slid down and engulfed him.

Best Practices

  • A safety harness attached to a lifeline should always be used when persons enter silos, hoppers or surge piles. A second person should constantly adjust the lifeline to eliminate slack.
  • Safe access should be provided and maintained to all working places.
  • Silos should be equipped with mechanical devices or other effective means of handling material so persons are not required to work where they are exposed to entrapment by sliding material.
  • Mine operators should take measures to assure that contractors follow basic safe work practices.
  • This is the fourth fatality reported in calendar year 1999 in the metal and nonmetal mining industries. As of this date in 1998, there were five fatalities reported in these industries. This is the second fatality classified as Fall/Slide Material in 1999. There were no Fall/Slide Material fatalities in the same period in 1998.

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