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METAL/NONMETAL MINE FATALITY - On August 18, 2004, a 50-year-old deck hand helper with 9 years mining experience was fatally injured at a cement operation. The victim was helping reposition rail cars within the plant rail yard. He had thrown the switch and signaled the locomotive operator to begin pushing the string of eight cars onto the inbound track. The operator lost sight of the switchman and about 40 seconds later saw the victim lying on the tracks. He had been run over by the moving rail cars.

Photo of Accident Scene

Best Practices

  • Miners need to discuss the job tasks and identify any potential hazards (conduct a risk analysis) before beginning any work. Identify safe work procedures and take action to eliminate any hazards.
  • Train all personnel assigned to operate mobile equipment regarding the safe work procedures and the hazards associated with the job tasks.
  • Position yourself in a safe location where you are not exposed to hazards.
  • Utilize radios to communicate when visual contact can not be maintained.
  • Monitor personnel routinely to determine that safe work procedures are followed.
  • 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 15th fatality reported in calendar year 2004 for the Metal and Nonmetal mining industries. As of this date in 2003, there were 14 fatalities reported. This is the 4th fatality classified as Powered Haulage in 2004. There was one Powered Haulage fatality 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