Skip to content
METAL/NONMETAL MINE FATALITY - On August 17, 2002, a 31-year-old contract miner with 4 years of experience was fatally injured in a tunnel construction project at an open pit copper mine. A transformer switch, mounted on a rail car, was being moved forward as construction advanced. The victim was electrocuted when he contacted a 480 volt cable and a junction box to move them from rubbing the rail car. The cable and junction box were part of the lighting system located along the side of the tunnel.

   Photo of Accident Scene

Best Practices

  • Protect circuits against excessive overloads by fuses or breakers of the correct type and capacity.
  • Ensure that all metal enclosing or encasing electrical circuits is grounded or provided with equivalent protection.
  • Provide equipment grounding conductors, with a sufficiently low impedance to limit the voltage to ground, for metal enclosures.
  • More Information E-mail Suggestion for Accident Prevention Program Submit your own suggestion for a remedy to prevent this type of accident in the future.
    Please specify if you wish your submission to be anonymous or whether your name may be used. Please include the year of the fatality and the fatality number.

    This is the 23rd fatality reported in calendar year 2002 in the metal and nonmetal mining industries. As of this date in 2001, there were 20 fatalities reported in these industries. This is the first fatality classified as electrical in 2002. There were no electrical fatalities in the same period in 2001.

    The information provided in this notice is based on preliminary data ONLY and does not represent final determinations regarding the nature of the incident or conclusions regarding the cause of the fatality.

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