MSHA reports seventh fatality of 2024

MSHA reported that on May 16, a worker at a surface mine died when the excavator he was operating traveled over a 200-ft. highwall.

This is the seventh fatality reported in 2024, and the second classified as “Machinery.”  

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

  • Reduce fall hazard exposure by limiting the distance equipment can safely operate near the edge of highwalls.
  • Examine benches to identify hazards related to insufficient bench width, locations of other equipment, loose material, etc.
  • Discuss highwall hazards with miners and train miners to recognize these hazards.
  • Address hazards in the mine’s Surface Mobile Equipment Safety Program.  Include safe work practices for weather conditions (fog, heavy rain or snow) that could reduce visibility.

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