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METAL/NONMETAL MINE FATALITY - On November 17, 2013, a 33-year old powderman trainee with 5 weeks of experience and a 59-year old shift supervisor with 36 years of experience were killed at a silver mine. The two miners were in an area of the mine where explosives had been detonated the day before. Other miners working in the area were able to evacuate. Mine rescue teams entered the mine, found the two victims, and brought them to the surface. During the recovery operation, rescue teams detected fatal levels of carbon monoxide. Twenty miners were taken to the hospital and three were kept overnight.

Photo of Accident Scene Described in the Paragraph Above

Best Practices

  • Conduct effective workplace examinations. Identify all hazards and take action to correct them.
  • Ensure all active working areas are ventilated prior to allowing miners to work in those areas.
  • Monitor gasses as frequently as necessary to determine the adequacy of control measures.
  • Use properly maintained and calibrated gas detection instruments with alarms for concentrations outside of safe limits that are audible and visual.
  • Ensure all miners are trained to recognize all potential hazards and emergency procedures, including evacuation procedures.
  • Dispose of damaged or deteriorated explosive material in a safe manner in accordance with the instructions of the manufacturer.

  • 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.

    These are the 16th and 17th fatalities reported in calendar year 2013 in metal and nonmetal mining. As of this date in 2012, there were 16 fatalities reported in metal and nonmetal mining. These are the 2nd and 3rd Explosives and Breaking Agent fatalities in 2013. There were 0 Explosive and Breaking Agent fatalities in the same period in 2012.

    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 - Not Available Yet.