MSHA reports on 14th, 15th, 16th fatalities

MSHA recently released the preliminary findings from the industry’s 14th-16th fatalities of 2022.

On August 11, the agency said that, on July 21, a miner at Giant Cement Co., Dorchester County, S.C., received fatal injuries when his right arm became entangled in an auger (screw) conveyor.

It was the 16th fatality reported in 2022, and the sixth classified under Machinery. 

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

• Secure all conveyor covers in place during normal operation. Keep tools, clothing, and body parts away from moving conveyors.

• De-energize, lock out, tag out, and block machinery against hazardous motion before performing repairs or maintenance. Never perform work on a moving conveyor.

• Examine work areas and equipment. Report defects to miners and assure defects are corrected and recorded. Test emergency shut-off devices frequently.

The 15th fatality occurred on June 20 and involved a 50-year-old miner at a Lhoist Group plant in Virginia. The individual died when the excavator he was operating underground slid over an elevated loading pad and was engulfed by lime dust. 

It was listed as a Machinery death.

The 14th fatality in the nation’s mines, MSHA said, also occurred on June 20. A contract driller was working outside of his drill at 3M Little Rock Industrial Mineral Products, Pulaski County, Ark., when he fell from the top of a highwall.

It was the second for the year to be classified as Slip or Fall of Person by MSHA.

To avoid this type of accident, MSHA recommended wearing fall protection that has a suitable fall arrest and a secure anchorage system when there is a danger of falling. Further, miners should be trained to properly use personal protective equipment and to recognize potential hazards from falls and to safely perform tasks. Lastly, it urged mines to provide communication systems when assigning miners to work alone.

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