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METAL/NONMETAL MINE FATALITY - On December 4, 2001, a 52-year-old laborer with 5 years mining experience was fatally injured at a sand and gravel operation. The victim had entered the feed hopper, apparently to dislodge a hang up, when he was engulfed by material and suffocated.

Photo of Accident Scene

Best Practices

  • Hoppers should be equipped with mechanical devices or other effective means of handling material so persons are not required to work where they are exposed to entrapment by sliding material.

  • A safety harness attached to a lifeline should always be used when persons enter hoppers. A second person should constantly adjust the lifeline to eliminate slack.

  • Ladders, platforms, or staging should be provided where persons are required to enter bins or hoppers.

  • Electrically powered equipment should be de-energized before mechanical work is performed in, around, or on the equipment.
  • More Information E-mail Suggestion for Accident Prevention Program Submit your own suggestion for a remedy to prevent this type of accident in the future.
    Please specify if you wish your submission to be anonymous or whether your name may be used. Please include the year of the fatality and the fatality number.

    This is the 29th fatality reported in calendar year 2001 in the metal and nonmetal mining industries. As of this date in 2000, there were 46 fatalities reported in these industries. This is the 14th fatality classified as Powered Haulage in 2001. There were 19 Powered Haulage fatalities in the same period in 2000.

    The information provided in this notice is based on preliminary data ONLY and does not represent final determinations regarding the nature of the incident or conclusions regarding the cause of the fatality.

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