METAL/NONMETAL MINE FATALITY-On May 26, 1999, a 42-year-old crusher operator with 2 years mining experience was fatally injured at a sand and gravel operation. The victim and a co-worker were attempting to replace a worn impeller that was seized onto the threaded shaft of a large slurry pump. After several failed attempts to unscrew the impeller, heat from a torch was applied to the enclosed hub on the impeller. A short time later, the hub exploded and metal fragments struck the victim.
Heat or open flame should not be applied where lubricants, oil or grease are present.
Heat or open flame should not be applied where enclosed spaces may be subject to heating. These spaces include mounted tires, suspension struts, impeller hubs, or tanks.
Before heating components, refer to the maintenance manual or contact the manufacturer for special safety precautions.
Procedures established by the equipment manufacturer should be followed when performing maintenance or repair.
This is the 18th fatality reported in calendar year 1999 in the metal and nonmetal mining industries. As of this date in 1998, there were 26 fatalities reported in these industries. This is the second fatality classified as Ignition or Explosion of Gas or Dust in 1999. There were no Ignition or Explosion of Gas or Dust fatalities in the same period in 1998.
For more information:
MSHA's Fatal Accident Investigation Report