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METAL/NONMETAL MINE FATALITY - On May 3, 2008, a 51 year-old mine owner with 45 weeks experience was fatally injured at a surface sand and gravel operation. He was working alone, operating an excavator on the water-covered floor of the pit, attempting to clean a clogged drainage ditch. When the victim moved the excavator, one of the crawler tracks fell into an 8-foot deep sump hole that was not visible due to the high water. The excavator fell on its side, trapping him inside the cab.

Photo of Accident Scene Described in the Paragraph Above


Best Practices
  • Examine working places, identify hazards, and assess and control risks. Be alert to changing conditions. Maintain a safe distance from the edge of excavations and slopes. If the safety of travelways cannot be positively determined, do not travel on them.
  • Where hazards in travelways are not clearly distinguishable or immediately obvious, install barriers, markers, or other warning devices to aid equipment operators and limit travel of mobile equipment.
  • Ensure all miners are trained to recognize workplace hazards, specifically the limited visibility inherent to the operation of large equipment.
  • Wear seat belts 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 8th fatality reported in calendar year 2008 in the metal and nonmetal mining industries. As of this date in 2007, there were 11 fatalities reported in these industries. This is the 2nd Machinery fatality in 2008. There were two Machinery fatalities in the same period in 2007.


    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