MSHA Reports 32nd Fatality of the Year

The Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) reported that on Nov. 17, a customer truck driver at East Coast Mines Ltd., Suffolk, N.Y., was electrocuted after the tarping mechanism on the trailer contacted a high-voltage overhead power line. While exiting the cab of the truck, the victim contacted the energized truck and received a nonfatal electrical shock.  When he tried to reenter the cab of the truck, he was electrocuted.

This is the 32nd fatality reported in 2021, and the first classified as “Electrical.”

MSHA recommends the following best practices to avoid this type of accident:

  • Construct roadways to provide adequate width and clearance between mobile equipment and energized high-voltage power lines, as required by the National Electrical Safety Code.  Evaluate clearances periodically to account for changing physical and environmental conditions.
  • Provide and maintain a safe location for truck drivers to tarp their loads.
  • Check for overhead hazards when raising and lowering truck beds and tarps.
  • If your vehicle contacts an energized power line:
  • Stay in your vehicle.
  • Immediately call for help on a mobile phone or radio.
  • If staying in the vehicle is unsafe, jump away from the vehicle without contacting the vehicle and the ground at the same time. Once on the ground, hop away from the power line for at least 40 ft.
  • Post readily visible warning signs or signals when overhead hazards exist.


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