The Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) reported that on March 15, a miner at Vulcan Materials’ Fort Pierce Mine in St Lucie County, Fla., drowned when the ground sloughed, causing the excavator he was operating to topple into a water-filled pit. The excavator became submerged in approximately 25 feet of water.
This is the 12th fatality reported in 2023, and the fourth classified as “Machinery.”
MSHA recommends the following best practices to avoid this type of accident.
Mine operators should:
- Install berms at the edge of the working surface so machinery can operate a safe distance from the water.
- Evaluate ground conditions and mining methods before operating equipment near water.
- Examine work areas and equipment and correct unsafe conditions.
- Task train equipment operators on the operators on the operation of machinery.