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METAL/NONMETAL MINE FATALITY - On March 14, 2005, a 66-year-old plant operator with two years mining experience was injured when a work boat he and another co-worker were on capsized. A crane and the boat were being used in an attempt to retrieve a dredge anchor from the bottom of a dredge pond. The crane and the boat were simultaneously hooked to the anchor line. The crane operator's view of the boat was obstructed and there were no communications established between the crews. Because there was too much slack in the cable connection to the crane, the crane backed away from the shore, capsizing the boat. Two co-workers rescued the two employees from the cold water and administered cardiopulmonary resuscitation to revive the victim. He was hospitalized and died on March 24, 2005. None of the employees were wearing life jackets that were available on the boat.

Photo of Accident Scene

Best Practices

  • Ensure that a life jacket is worn where there is a danger of falling into the water.
  • Establish and maintain positive two-way communications between crews, including using a spotter if necessary, when performing tasks that must be coordinated.
  • Conduct a risk analysis before starting the task to ensure that all hazards are evaluated and eliminated.
  • 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 5th fatality reported in calendar year 2005 in the metal and nonmetal mining industries. As of this date in 2004, there were 7 fatalities reported in these industries. This is the 2nd fatality classified as machinery in 2005. There were three machinery fatalities in the same period in 2004.

    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