METAL/NONMETAL MINE FATALITY - On May 7, 1999, a 49-year-old crane operator with 10 years mining experience drowned at a dredging operation. The victim and a co-worker were in a small boat on the river, attempting to free several logs that had become tangled in the anchor lines for the dredge. They attached a rope to the logs and secured it to a tree near the shore. The logs shifted suddenly causing the rope to rise toward the surface, capsizing the boat. The co-worker was rescued, however, the victim and the capsized boat were drawn under a barge and carried downstream by the swift current. Both men where wearing life jackets.
Mechanical devices should be used to clear debris that becomes tangled in the anchor ropes.
Work in small boats should be suspended during periods
of swift river currents.
This is the 19th fatality reported in calendar year 1999 in the metal and nonmetal mining industries. As of this date in 1998, there were 23 fatalities reported in these industries. This is the first fatality classified as Other in 1999. There was one Other fatality in the same period in 1998.
For more information:
MSHA's Fatal Accident Investigation Report