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METAL/NONMETAL MINE FATALITY - On August 9, 2003, a 40-year-old maintenance man, with 5 months mining experience, was fatally injured at a surface milling operation that processes diatomaceous earth. The victim was tracking a water line, walked out onto the roof of a building, and fell through a sky light, 29 feet to a concrete floor below.

Photo of Accident Scene

Best Practices

  • Pre-plan maintenance work to identify hazards associated with the task and implement measures to ensure persons are properly protected.
  • Discuss the procedures developed to safely perform the task with all personnel before performing the work.
  • Require fall protection for all employees exposed to possible falls from heights, such as from roofs.
  • Require all personnel to be adequately trained to help them recognize and understand procedures to safely perform tasks.
  • 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 14th fatality reported in calendar year 2003 in the metal and nonmetal mining industries. As of this date in 2002, there were 22 fatalities reported in these industries. This is the third fatality classified as slip/fall of person in 2003. There was one slip/fall of person fatality in 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