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METAL/NONMETAL MINE FATALITY - On January 7, 2003, a 34-year-old contract employee with 10 years welding experience was fatally injured at a cement plant. The victim and three co-workers were working from two man lifts on opposite sides of a 16-foot diameter metal duct connected to a scrubber. They were utilizing welding machines to air gouge a metal flange when an ignition occurred inside the scrubber. Apparently hot slag fell inside the scrubber and ignited a combustible membrane that served to filter exhaust gases exiting the scrubber. A second victim was briefly hospitalized; the 2 remaining workers were treated and released.

Photo of Accident Scene

Best Practices

  • Analyze maintenance tasks to identify possible hazards and ensure that all affected persons are familiar with the job procedures prior to the commencement of work.

  • Ensure that heat sources capable of producing combustion are separated from combustible material.

  • Provide manufacturer's safety data information for all material used on site and ensure that contractors are provided with this information.
  • 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 first fatality reported in calendar year 2003 in the metal and nonmetal mining industries. As of this date in 2002, there were no fatalities reported in these industries. This is the first fatality classified as Ignition or Explosion of Gas in 2003. There were no Ignition or Explosion of Gas fatalities in the same period in 2002.

    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