MSHA reports 23rd and 24th fatalities

The Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) has reported that on October 7, a mechanic at a construction sand and gravel operation in Providence, R.I., was fatally injured when he was engulfed in material after he entered an air separator to clear a blockage.

This is the 24th fatality reported in 2022, and the first classified as “Confined Space.”  

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

  • Install mechanical flow-enhancing devices, such as mechanical vibratory devices, that can maintain material flow and prevent the need for miners to enter a confined space.
  • Mine operators should establish procedures to clear blockages and train all miners in the procedures.
  • Make sure miners wear a safety belt or harness equipped with a lifeline when entering a confined space, and that a second miner, similarly equipped, is attending the lifeline.

MSHA also reported that on October 1, a miner at Grafton Quarry, Rensselaer, N.Y., died while using a crane to remove a haul truck engine. The auxiliary line broke, causing the hook and ball assembly to fall and strike the miner.  

This is the 23rd fatality reported in 2022, and the eighth classified as “Machinery.”

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

  • Make sure cranes have functional anti-two blocking devices to automatically shut off the crane when the rigging on the hoist line gets close to the sheave at the end of the crane boom.
  • Make sure miners stay clear of suspended loads and use taglines when necessary for steadying or guiding suspended loads.
  • Make sure miners conduct thorough pre-operational inspections of all machinery, equipment, and tools prior to use.

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