MSHA reported that on Dec. 16, 2022, a contract mechanic at Signal Peak Silica of Atascosa in Poteet, Texas, died while removing the counterweight of an excavator, when it fell and struck him.
This was the 29th fatality reported in 2022, and the 10th classified as “Machinery.”
MSHA recommends the following best practices to avoid this type of accident:
- Block machinery components against motion before beginning maintenance or repairs.
- Assure blocking material is substantial and installed correctly to support and stabilize the load.
- Assure miners position themselves in a safe location and away from potential pinch point areas.
- Train miners to conduct repairs according to manufacturer recommendations.