MSHA reports 25th, 26th fatalities of 2023

The Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) reported in August that, on July 17, a miner at Holcim’s Swampscott Quarry, Essex County, Mass., died while performing repairs on a gyratory crusher. When a component was being suspended by a crane, a lifting eye welded to the component broke free striking the miner.

This is the 25th fatality reported in 2023, and the 11th classified as “Machinery.”

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

  • Ensure that all miners stay clear of stored energy while performing repairs. 
  • A certified welder should weld any lifting eye and ensure the welding rod is suitable for the materials joined together. 
  • Examine lifting equipment and connection points for cracks or deformation prior to lifting. 
  • Use low energy ropes and straps to minimize rebound effects when objects break.

MSHA also reported that on August 5, a piece of granite fell, striking two miners at the Echols Mill Quarry in Oglethorpe County, Ga., killing one and seriously injuring the other.

This is the 26th fatality reported in 2023, and the second classified as “Falling, Rolling, or Sliding Rock or Material of Any Kind.” 

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

  • Examine work areas to identify loose ground or unstable conditions before work begins and as conditions change. Report hazards and do not work in unsafe conditions.
  • Correct unsafe conditions or barricade areas to prevent access before beginning work.
  • Consider mining methods that do not require miners to work or travel near the base of a highwall.

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