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METAL/NONMETAL MINE FATALITY - On October 17, 2008, a 45 year-old scaler operator with 8 years of experience was fatally injured at an underground stone mine. He was inside the cab operating a track mounted excavator, with a scaling attachment, when a rock fall occurred. A rock, about 13' wide x 26' long x 4�' thick, fell from the back. Rescuers recovered the victim about 7 hours after the rock fell.

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.
  • Be alert to any change of ground conditions.
  • Identify and scale loose ground from a location which will not expose persons to falling material.
  • Use scaling equipment with sufficient reach to prevent persons from exposure to falling material.
  • Take down or support ground that creates a hazard to persons before performing other work or travel in the affected area.
  • When ground conditions create a hazard to persons, install ground support before other work is permitted in the affected area.
  • Design and use mining methods that will maintain stability and control the ground in places where persons work or travel.
  • 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 20th fatality reported in calendar year 2008 in the metal and nonmetal mining industries. As of this date in 2007, there were 29 fatalities reported in these industries. This is the 3rd Fall of Back fatality in 2008. There were 3 Fall of Back 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