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METAL/NONMETAL MINE FATALITY - On June 4, 2011, a 39 year-old mill operator with 1 year and 14 weeks of experience was killed at a surface gold operation. The victim was sweeping in a crusher building when he fell through an opening approximately 60 feet to the floor below. The cover for the opening was not secured in place.


Photo of Accident Scene Described in the Paragraph Above

Best Practices

  • Establish and discuss safe work procedures. Identify and control all hazards. Train all persons to recognize and understand safe job procedures before beginning work.
  • Always use fall protection when working where a fall hazard exists.
  • Protect openings near travelways through which persons may fall by installing railings, barriers, or covers.
  • Keep temporary access opening covers secured in place at all times when the opening is not being used.
  • Ensure that areas are barricaded or have warning signs posted at all approaches if hazards exist that are not immediately obvious.

  • 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 6th fatality reported in calendar year 2011 in the metal and nonmetal mining industries. As of this date in 2010, there were 8 fatalities reported in these industries. This is the 1st Fall of Person fatality in 2011. There were no Fall of Person fatalities in the same period in 2010.


    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