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METAL/NONMETAL MINE FATALITY - On January 17, 2009, a 48 year-old mill operator with 22 weeks of experience was fatally injured at a crushed stone milling operation. The victim was loading material into a hopper with a front-end loader. He entered the hopper to dislodge frozen bridged material that would not feed onto the belt conveyor below. Coworkers found the victim engulfed in the hopper.

Photo of Accident Scene Described in the Paragraph Above Photo of Accident Scene Described in the Paragraph Above


Best Practices
  • Establish and review procedures to ensure all possible hazards have been identified and appropriate controls are in place to protect persons before beginning work.
  • Train miners in safe work procedures and hazard recognition, specifically when clearing blocked hoppers.
  • Lock out discharge operating controls.
  • Ensure a safety harness properly secured to a lanyard is worn and a second person is positioned outside to adjust the lanyard.
  • Management should routinely monitor these activities to ensure miners are protected from possible hazards.
  • Provide vibrating shakers to maintain material flow or mechanical means of safely removing material if hoppers experience recurring flow problems.
  • 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 2nd fatality reported in calendar year 2009 in the metal and nonmetal mining industries. As of this date in 2008, there were no fatalities reported in these industries. This is the 2nd Falling Material fatality in 2009. There were no Falling Material fatalities in the same period in 2008.


    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