METAL/NONMETAL MINE FATALITY- On April 7, 1999, a 60-year-old driller with 31 years mining experience was fatally injured at a dimension stone quarry. At the beginning of the shift the victim started the air compressor in preparation for drilling. After a few minutes, a connection in a high pressure 2-inch diameter pipe failed. The pipe struck the victim in the head, fatally injuring him. He had experienced leaks in the pipe connections the previous day and pipe wrenches were used to re-tighten them.
This is the 15th fatality reported in calendar year 1999 in the metal and nonmetal mining industries. As of this date in 1998, there were 14 fatalities reported in these industries. This is the fourth fatality classified as Machinery in 1999. There were two Machinery fatalities in the same period in 1998.
Connections on high pressure air lines should be secured with safety devices to prevent whipping in case of failure.
Equipment and machinery should be examined for safety defects prior to being placed in operation.
Manufacturer's recommendations should be followed when installing and maintaining pressurized pipe systems.
For more information:
MSHA's Fatal Accident Investigation Report