United States
Department of Labor

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Fatality Alert - Fatality #12 - October 31, 2011

Accident Report: Fatality Reference: 
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METAL/NONMETAL MINE FATALITY -On October 31, 2011, a 42 year-old muck haul leadman with 3½ years of experience was killed in an underground platinum mine. The victim was operating a 4-yard loader in a drift when the loader struck the left rib. At that time, a spieling (rebar anchored in the rib for ground control) that was protruding from the rib, penetrated the front side window, entered the cab, and struck him.

4-yard loader
Best Practices: 
  • Operators of self-propelled mobile equipment shall maintain control of the equipment while it is in motion.
  • Maintain all roadways free of materials that may pose a hazard to equipment operators. This includes materials on the floor and protruding from the ribs, back, or walls.
  • Operating speeds shall be consistent with conditions of roadways, tracks, grades, clearance, visibility, curves, and traffic.
  • Slow down or drop to a lower gear when necessary. Post areas where lower speeds are warranted.
  • Always wear a seat belt when operating self-propelled mobile equipment.
  • Trim protruding spielings.
  • Keep mobile equipment operator's stations free of materials that can impair the safe operation of the equipment.
  • When clearances on roadways are restricted, install warning devices in advance of the area and conspicuously mark it.
Additional Information: 

This is the 12th fatality reported in calendar year 2011 in the metal and nonmetal mining industries. As of this date in 2010, there were 18 fatalities reported in these industries. This is the 3rd Powered Haulage fatality in 2011. There were 3 Powered Haulage fatalities in the same period in 2010.