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METAL/NONMETAL MINE FATALITY - On July 29, 2007, a 29 year-old contractor miner with 3 years experience was fatally injured at an underground zinc mine. The victim and two other contractor miners were working on top of a service hoist located in the main mine service shaft. He was assisting another miner who was using a chipping hammer to remove concrete from around a steel shaft set. The miners had one foot on top of the service hoist and one foot on a cross section H-beam when one side of the beam collapsed. Both miners fell into the shaft. They were both wearing safety harnesses and lanyards but the victim's lanyard was not secured. The other miner was caught by his lanyard but the victim fell 1,000 feet to the shaft bottom.

Photo Showing Accident Scene Described in Paragraph Above

Best Practices
  • Ensure workers are trained and understand that safety lanyards are not permitted to be unfastened while working at elevated locations.
  • Provide self retracting lanyard mechanisms when workers are required to reposition themselves to perform tasks.
  • Ensure safety lanyards are securely fastened at all times when workers are positioned at elevated locations.
  • 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 19th fatality reported in calendar year 2007 in the metal and nonmetal mining industries. As of this date in 2006, there were 18 fatalities reported in these industries. This is the 2nd Fall of Person fatality in 2007. There were 2 Fall of Person fatalities in the same period in 2006.

    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