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METAL/NONMETAL MINE FATALITY -On September 7, 2011, a 30 year-old miner with 1 year of experience was killed at an underground gold mine. The victim was on a ramp waiting for a blast to be initiated. When the round was initiated, small rock and debris traveled through a 3-inch diameter diamond borehole, striking him.


Photo of Accident Scene Described in the Paragraph Above

Best Practices

  • Plug a diamond drill hole that intersects any opening and map the hole.
  • During blasting operations, consider mine specific conditions, including diamond drill holes and rock strata, and establish mine policies and procedures to protect all persons.
  • When developing a blasting plan, make sure all drilled holes and open passageways that intersect the area to be blasted are known and taken into consideration before initiating any blast.
  • Use a central blasting system and schedule blasting between shifts or on off-shifts when no one is present.
  • Train persons to identify hazards associated with blasting activity and take action to correct them.
  • Never initiate a blast until the blast area has been determined to be safe and all persons have been evacuated from the designated blasting area.
  • Take special precautions to ensure that all roadways and regularly traveled areas are blocked to prevent access when blasting is being conducted.

  • 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 8th fatality reported in calendar year 2011 in the metal and nonmetal mining industries. As of this date in 2010, there were 14 fatalities reported in these industries. This is the 1st Explosives fatality in 2011. There was 1 Explosives fatality 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