METAL/NONMETAL MINE FATALITY - On August 6, 2008, a 38 year-old shift foreman with 15 years experience was fatally injured on the surface of an underground potash mine. The victim was electrocuted when he contacted an energized steel water line. One conductor of a 480-volt electrical circuit short-circuited to an abandoned heater tape where both circuits passed through a common condulet box. The heater tape, which was attached to the water line, overheated and energized the water line to 277 volts.
- Examine the work area for any potential hazards.
- Label all power switches to identify which units they control.
- Ground all metal enclosing electrical circuits.
- Conduct continuity and resistance tests of all grounding systems.
- Keep workplaces clean and orderly.
- Remove all abandoned electrical circuits.
This is the 12th fatality reported in calendar year 2008 in the metal and nonmetal mining industries. As of this date in 2007, there were 21 fatalities reported in these industries. This is the 1st Electrical fatality in 2008. There were no Electrical fatalities in the same period in 2007.