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METAL/NONMETAL MINE FATALITY - - On April 25, 2003, a 39-year-old equipment operator with 2 years mining experience was fatally injured at a surface sand and gravel mine. The victim was operating an excavator near the edge of an embankment in the pit. The ground under the excavator failed causing the excavator to slide down the embankment and fall onto its side, crushing the victim inside the cab.

Best Practices

  • Establish safe work procedures and job specific task training to identify all hazards associated with the work to be performed.
  • Avoid operating equipment parallel to and close to the edge of steep slopes in unconsolidated material.
  • Examine the highwall and ground conditions to establish a safe working distance from the edge of the highwall, prior to operating equipment and as ground conditions change.
  • Train all personnel in safe work procedures.
  • Ensure that seat belts are worn when operating self propelled mobile 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 seventh fatality reported in calendar year 2003 in the metal and nonmetal mining industries. As of this date in 2002, there were fourteen fatalities reported in these industries. This is the second fatality classified as machinery in 2003. There were four machinery 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