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METAL/NONMETAL MINE FATALITY - On September 22, 2012, a 34-year old contract laborer with 6 days of experience was killed when he fell through a 6 ft. X 8 ft. hole that was partially covered with 2" X 4" boards and ¾ " thick plywood. He fell into a chute landing on a belt conveyor 30 feet below. The victim was assigned fire watch duties on a welding/cutting operation that was taking place on the floor above him.

Photo of Accident Scene Described in the Paragraph Above
(Note: Boards added and fence moved after accident.)

Best Practices

  • Establish and discuss safe work procedures. Identify and control all hazards. Train all persons to recognize and understand safe job procedures before beginning work.
  • Always use fall protection when working where a fall hazard exists.
  • Protect openings near travelways through which persons may fall by installing appropriately designed railings, barriers, or covers.
  • Keep temporary access opening covers secured in place at all times when the opening is not being used. Replace deteriorated floor plating and grating.
  • Ensure that areas are barricaded or have warning signs posted at all approaches if hazards exist that are not immediately obvious.
  • 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 13th fatality reported in calendar year 2012 in the metal and nonmetal mining industries. As of this date in 2011, there were 10 fatalities reported in these industries. This is the 3rd Fall of Person fatality in 2012. There were 2 Fall of Person fatalities in the same period in 2011.

    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