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METAL/NONMETAL MINE FATALITY - On May 15, 2003, a 51-year-old master welder with 30 years mining experience was fatally injured in a shop at a surface stone mine. The victim was fabricating a screen tower section. Using an overhead bridge crane, he was positioning the 3-beam, right side component for assembly. While the victim was standing on the bottom beam, communicating with the crane operator and positioning a chain sling, the load shifted and fell, crushing him.

Photo of Accident Scene

Best Practices

  • Discuss work procedures and identify all hazards associated with the work to be performed along with the methods to protect personnel.
  • Require all personnel to be positioned to prevent them from being exposed to any hazards.
  • Never perform work on or have unstable structures/fabrications freestanding.
  • Secure loads before unhooking them.
  • Arrange the rigging to prevent shifting of the load being lifted. Balance the load by placing the crane or hook block directly above the load's center of gravity.
  • 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 ninth fatality reported in calendar year 2003 in the metal and nonmetal mining industries. As of this date in 2002, there were fifteen fatalities reported in these industries. This is the fourth fatality classified as machinery in 2003. There were five 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