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METAL/NONMETAL MINE FATALITY - On January 31, 2009, a 40 year-old contractor technician with 36 weeks of experience was fatally injured at an alumina milling operation. He was cleaning hydrate that had built up inside a 30-inch pipe in the plant. The victim was using a high pressure water hose when the unrestrained hose end and attachment blew out of the pipe. He was struck by the water.

Photo of Accident Scene Described in the Paragraph Above


Best Practices
  • Establish, review, and follow procedures to ensure all hazards are identified and controls are used to protect persons before beginning work.
  • Train persons on hazards and safe work procedures for high pressure water cleaning.
  • Ensure that operators are in a safe position and have control of their equipment at all times.
  • Install barricades or warning signs to prohibit access.
  • Follow equipment manufacturers' operating instructions.
  • Provide emergency stop/depressurization control.
  • Maintain sight or voice communications between person operating the high pressure nozzle and person operating the controls.
  • Use special protective equipment and clothing.
  • Contractor and mine management should routinely monitor work activities to ensure safe operating procedures are followed and persons are protected from hazards.
  • 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 3rd fatality reported in calendar year 2009 in the metal and nonmetal mining industries. As of this date in 2008, there were four fatalities reported in these industries. This is the 1st Machinery fatality in 2009. There were no Machinery 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