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METAL/NONMETAL MINE FATALITY - On May 31, 2008, a 40 year-old driller with 2 years experience was fatally injured at an underground lead-zinc mine. The victim was using a jackleg drill to drill a hole near the face when the bit came off the drill steel. He was attempting to retrieve the bit when a piece of rock, approximately 8� feet x 4 feet x 14 inches thick, fell from the roof striking him.

Photo of Accident Scene Described in the Paragraph Above


Best Practices
  • Examine and test ground conditions in areas where work is to be performed prior to work commencing and as ground conditions warrant during the shift.
  • When ground conditions create a hazard to persons, install ground support before other work is permitted in the affected area.
  • Be alert to any change of ground conditions.
  • Identify and scale loose ground from a location which will not expose persons to falling material.
  • 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 11th 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 Fall of Back fatality in 2008. There was one Fall of Back fatality 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