COAL MINE FATALITY - On Monday, July 16, 2007, a mechanic with 20 years of mining experience was fatally injured at a surface mine when he was struck by fly rock from blasting operations. The victim and another mechanic had just completed their shift in an equipment parking/service area approximately 1,500 feet from the area being blasted.
Consider mine specific conditions and rock strata when designing blasts to prevent fly rock. Closely follow mine policies and procedures through all phases of the blasting operation. Maintain and use all available methods of communication, such as sirens and radios, to warn persons of impending blasting operations. Schedule blasting between shifts or on off-shifts. Utilize suitable blast shelters for all persons at the mine site during blasting. Take special precautions to ensure that all roadways and regularly traveled areas are blocked to prevent access by persons unaware of an impending blast.
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This is the ninth fatality reported during calendar year 2007 in the coal mining industry. As of this date in 2006, there were 34 fatalities reported in coal mining. This is the first fatality classified as Explosives and Breaking Agents in 2007. At this time in 2006, there were no fatalities in this classification.
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:
MSHA's Fatal Accident Investigation Report