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METAL/NONMETAL MINE FATALITY - On June 19, 2004, a 33-year-old maintenance man with 3 years mining experience was fatally injured at a sand and gravel operation. A three man crew was attempting to unplug material at the discharge chute below a 30-ton hopper. The victim entered the hopper from the top without wearing a secured safety harness and lanyard when the material suddenly gave way and engulfed him.

Photo of Accident Scene

Best Practices

  • Establish and follow safe job procedures that mitigate hazards when unplugging discharge chutes.
  • Evaluate a task before performing work.
  • Position yourself in a safe location where you are not exposed to hazards.
  • Never enter a location where unexpected or unanticipated sliding material could entrap you.
  • Close supply and discharge points and wear a safety harness and lanyard, which is securely anchored, prior to entering bins, hoppers, tanks, or silos.
  • 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 11th fatality reported in calendar year 2004 for the Metal and Nonmetal mining industries. As of this date in 2003, there were 13 fatalities reported. This is the 2nd fatality classified as Sliding Material in 2004. There were 2 Sliding Material fatalities in the same period in 2003.

    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