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METAL/NONMETAL MINE FATALITY - On February 11, 2003, a 26-year-old press operator with 2 years 4 months mining experience was fatally injured at a surface clay operation. He was performing cleanup inside a reaction tank when a steam injection line activated, engulfing him in high-pressure steam. The automatically activated electronic control for the steam injection line had not been locked out, nor had the manual gate valve for the steam line been closed and locked prior to his entering the tank. The victim had no prior experience performing this task.

Photo of Accident Scene
View From Top of Reaction Tank

Best Practices

  • Establish safe procedures prior to performing any maintenance work.
  • Review all tasks for hazards that may be created as a result of any major equipment or systems changes.
  • Thoroughly train employees in safe job procedures.
  • Provide proper equipment and tools, identify possible hazards, and wear protective equipment or clothing.
  • Lock out equipment controls prior to entering tanks.
  • 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 fourth fatality reported in calendar year 2003 in the metal and nonmetal mining industries. As of this date in 2002, there were seven fatalities reported in these industries. This is the second fatality classified as Other in 2003. There were no fatalities classified as Other during the same period in 2002.

    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