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METAL/NONMETAL MINE FATALITY -On October 20, 1999, a 26-year-old electrician with 1 year mining experience was fatally injured at a crushed stone operation. The victim was splicing a cable for a sump pump, about 15 feet from the toe of a 120-foot highwall, when a rock fell from the highwall and struck him.

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Best Practices

  • Persons experienced in identifying loose ground should examine highwalls in the vicinity where work is to be performed, prior to the work commencing, after blasting and as conditions warrant throughout the shift.

  • Ground conditions that create a hazard to persons should be taken down or supported before other work or travel is permitted in the affected area.

  • This is the 43rd fatality reported in calendar year 1999 in the metal and nonmetal mining industries. As of this date in 1998, there were 45 fatalities reported in these industries. This is the second fatality classified as Fall of Face/Highwall in 1999. There were no Fall of Face/Highwall fatalities in the same period in 1998.

    For more information:
    Fatal Alert Bulletin Icon MSHA's Fatal Accident Investigation Report