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METAL/NONMETAL MINE FATALITY - On December 9, 2004, a 46-year-old contracted laborer, with 21/2 years mining experience, was fatally injured at an alumina operation. The victim was attempting to break up crusted material inside a lime surge tank by hydro-blasting through an open access door. The material inside the tank suddenly broke loose. The victim was knocked to the ground and engulfed.

Photo of Accident Scene

Best Practices

  • Ensure that tanks, bins, or silos have been thoroughly examined and materials that could be hazardous to personnel have been removed or diverted prior to opening or activating access doors, valves, feeders, or gates.
  • Ensure that miners jointly discuss the safe job procedures, identify all possible hazards, and take all precautions to safely perform the task before the work begins.
  • Ensure that miners are not required to work where they are exposed to entrapment by materials contained in tanks, bins, or silos.
  • 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 25th fatality reported in calendar year 2004 in Metal and Nonmetal mining. As of this date in 2003, there were 25 fatalities reported in these industries. This is the 6th fatality classified as Machinery in 2004. There were eight Machinery fatalities in the same period in 2003.

    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