MNM Serious Accident Alert Facility – Cement

Facility – Cement – On May 7, 2019, a miner suffered burns to his body when superheated gases carrying hot, fine, alkaline particles were forcefully expelled through an open process vessel door.The victim was on a platform 5-6 feet above other miners who were setting off a Cardox charge to free a blockage in the vessel. He opened the door around the same time they set off the charge.

Image of the accident area
Best Practices:
  • Wear appropriate protective clothing when working around superheated materials.
  • Develop and follow safe work procedures for performing hazardous tasks.
  • Ensure that equipment operators establish good communications between themselves and other miners that may be working around or near their work areas.
  • Stay out of the line of fire when unchoking vessels, chutes and hoppers.
  • Task train all persons to recognize all potential hazardous conditions and ensure they understand safe job procedures for elimination of the hazards.

MSHA MINE FATALITY #5

On Thursday, March 7, 2019, a 38-year-old miner with 10 years of mining experience received fatal injuries while he was working on the pad of a highwall mining machine (HWM).  The miner was contacted in a pinch point between a post and a section of the HWM (i.e. push beam) that was being removed as part of the normal mining cycle.

Fatality #5 Accident Scene
Best Practices:
  • Establish and discuss safe work procedures for removing push beams.  Identify and control all hazards and develop methods to protect miners.
  • Determine the proper working position to avoid pinch points.  Monitor personnel to ensure safe work procedures are followed.
  • Always follow the equipment manufacturer’s recommended maintenance procedures and discuss these procedures during training.
  • Train miners to recognize potential hazardous conditions and understand safe job procedures before beginning work.

MSHA MINE FATALITY #4

On March 7, 2019, a 46-year-contractor with three years of experience was fatally injured when he lost his balance and fell backwards through a narrow gap between two log washers and landed on a cable tray approximately 12 feet below.  The victim was changing drive belts on a log washer motor when his wrench slipped off of a bolt he was tightening, causing the loss of balance.

Best Practices:
  • Always use fall protection equipment, safety belts and lines, when working at heights and near openings where there is a danger of falling.
  • Always be aware of your surroundings and any hazards that may be present.
  • Have properly designed handrails, guards, and covers securely in place at openings through which persons may fall.
  • Train personnel in safe work procedures regarding the use of handrails and fall protection equipment during maintenance and construction activities and ensure their use.
  • Conduct workplace examinations in order to identify and correct hazards prior to performing work.

MSHA MINE FATALITY #3

 On March 6, 2019, a 35-year-old contractor with 35 weeks of experience was fatally injured when he was struck by a relief valve that was ejected from a 500-ton hydraulic jack.    The hydraulic jack was being engaged to make contact with the frame of a P&H 4100A shovel when the relief valve was ejected.

Fatality #3 hydraulic jack
Best Practices:
  • Inspect, examine, maintain, and evaluate all materials and system components used in the installation, replacement, or repair of pressurized systems to ensure they are suitable for use and meet minimum manufacturer’s specifications.
  • Test systems at lower pressures to verify connections and flow rates prior to full pressure use.
  • Position yourself in a safe location, away from any potential sources of failure, while pressurizing systems.
  • Consult and follow the manufacturer’s recommended safe work procedures.
  • Establish and discuss safe work procedures that include hazard analysis before beginning work. Identify and control all hazards associated with the work to be performed and use methods to properly protect persons.

Get Ready for Safe + Sound 2019

Safe + Sound, OSHA’s year-round campaign to encourage every workplace to have a safety and health program, includes both employers and workers.  Participate in quarterly events on building an effective safety and health program in your workplace. Learn about best practices during webinars and put them into action during the 30-day challenges. These events also focus on management leadership, worker participation, and finding and fixing hazards. Share your safety successes during Safe + Sound Week, August 12-18, 2019. Sign up on the Safe + Sound website.

Sixth Annual National Stand-Down to Prevent Falls: May 6-10, 2019

OSHA and its partners will host events throughout the country in honor of the sixth annual National Safety Stand-Down to Prevent Falls in Construction May 6-10, 2019. Employers and workers will pause to talk about fall hazards, OSHA compliance, and industry best practices to prevent falls. The 2019 poster is now available on OSHA’s publications page.

MSHA MINE FATALITY #2

On Monday, January 14, 2019, a 56-year-old survey crew member with approximately 30 years of mining experience was fatally injured after he was struck by a loaded shuttle car.  The victim was measuring the mining height in an entry that was part of the travel-way used by the shuttle car to access the section feeder.

Fatality #2 accident scene
Best Practices:
  • Before performing work in an active haulage travel-way, communicate your position and intended movements to mobile equipment operators and park mobile equipment until work has been completed.
  • Never assume mobile equipment operators can see you.  Always wear reflective clothing and permissible strobe lights to ensure high visibility when traveling or working where mobile equipment is operating.
  • Be aware of blind spots on mobile equipment when traveling in the same areas where mobile equipment operates.
  • Place visible warning and barrier devices at all entrances to areas prior to performing work in active travelways of mobile equipment.
  • Operate mobile equipment at safe speeds and sound audible warnings when visibility is obstructed, making turns, reversing direction, etc.  Ensure sound levels of audible warnings are significantly higher than ambient noise.
  • Ensure directional lights are on when equipment is being operated.  Maintain all lights provided on mobile equipment in proper working condition at all times.

MSHA MINE FATALITY #1

On Saturday, January 5, 2019, a 55-year-old contract miner received fatal injuries when he was pinned between a pneumatically powered air lock equipment door and the concrete rib barrier located near the shaft bottom.

Fatality #1 accident scene
Best Practices:
  • Design and maintain ventilation controls, including airlock doors to provide air separation and permit travel between or within air courses or entries.
  • Ensure that airlock doors are designed and maintained to prevent simultaneous opening of both sets of doors.
  • Ensure miners are trained in the proper use of automatic doors and procedures to follow in the event the doors malfunction.
  • Provide means to override automatic airlock doors and allow manual operation in case of an emergency.
  • Keep the path of automatic doors clear of miners and equipment.
  • When changes in ventilation are made, test automatic doors to ensure they operate safely under the new conditions.
  • Perform thorough examinations of airlock doors to assure safe operating conditions.  When a hazardous condition is found, remove the doors from service until they are repaired.