MSHA reported that on June 8, a miner died at Thomas Walsh’s N. Attleboro Plant, Bristol County, Mass., after climbing over the handrail onto a conveyor belt to gain access to a magnet belt that needed adjustment. When the miner stepped onto the magnet belt, the belt started, throwing the miner 16 feet to the ground below.
This is the 22nd fatality reported in 2023, and the second classified as “Slip or Fall of Person.”
MSHA recommends the following best practices to avoid this type of accident:
• De-energize, lock-out, tag-out, and block machinery against motion before performing repairs or maintenance on a belt conveyor.
• Install a system which provides visible or audible warning to warn miners that the conveyor will be started.
• Provide and maintain safe access to all workplaces and establish safe work procedures.
• Use fall protection when a fall hazard exists. Ensure fall protection has a suitable fall arrest and secure anchorage system, and that miners are properly trained.