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METAL/NONMETAL MINE FATALITY - On December 6, 2004, a 51-year-old company president with 25 years mining experience was fatally injured at a sand and gravel operation. The victim was operating a front-end loader digging material near the base of a 65 foot highwall. Approximately 550 tons of material sloughed off the highwall and partially buried the loader. The victim was trapped in the cab by the inrushing material.

Photo of Accident Scene

Best Practices

  • Ensure that mining methods used will maintain the stability of highwalls or slopes where persons work or travel.
  • Ensure that experienced persons conduct examinations of highwalls or slopes to identify loose ground or unstable conditions prior to beginning work and as ground conditions warrant during the work shift.
  • Establish policies that prohibit work or travel in areas where hazards from unstable ground have not been corrected.
  • 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 24th fatality reported in calendar year 2004 in the Metal and Nonmetal mining. As of this date in 2003, there were 25 fatalities reported in these industries. This is the 1st fatality classified as Fall of Highwall in 2004. There were no Fall of Highwall 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