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METAL/NONMETAL MINE FATALITY - On April 4, 2005, a 47-year-old mechanic, with 28 years mining experience, was fatally injured at an underground trona mine. A forklift was being used to position a motor that was being installed on a continuous miner. The forklift engine was shut off to facilitate communication. The service brakes failed; allowing the forklift to drift forward. The victim was pinned against the continuous miner.

Photo of Accident Scene

Best Practices

  • Ensure adequate pre-operational examinations are conducted on all self-propelled mobile equipment and defects affecting safety are promptly corrected.
  • Before beginning a task, miners should discuss the work procedures, identify all possible hazards, and ensure steps are taken to safely perform the task.
  • Ensure that all braking systems installed on mobile equipment are functioning properly with the engine operating and also when it is shut off.
  • Always obtain Operator's Manuals and Service Manuals for all mobile equipment and ensure their use by mechanics and operators.
  • 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 8th 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 3rd fatality classified as Powered Haulage in 2005. There were no Powered Haulage fatalities during 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