METAL/NONMETAL MINE FATALITY - On November 17, 2011, a 26 year-old contract underground miner with 3½ years of experience was seriously injured in a silver mine. He died at a hospital on November 19, 2011. The victim and a coworker were attempting to dislodge muck in a bin excavation when the muck they were standing on started to flow. The victim was wearing a safety harness attached to a self-retracting lanyard; however, the lanyard extended and did not lock before he became engulfed. The other miner was freed immediately, treated, and released from the hospital.
- Wear a safety harness and attach it to a securely anchored lanyard, where there is a danger of falling.
- In applications where the danger is not limited to a free-fall, do not use lanyards that depend on free-fall speed to lock. Follow the manufacturer's recommendations.
- Ensure that persons working on material in bins, silos, hoppers, tanks, and surge piles are properly tied-off, with one line tender per person. No persons should enter the facility until the supply and discharge equipment are locked out.
- Establish policies and procedures for safely clearing muck in a bin excavation and ensure that persons follow these safe procedures.
- Ensure that persons are task-trained and understand the hazards associated with the work being performed and the proper use of their personal protective equipment.
This is the 14th fatality reported in calendar year 2011 in the metal and nonmetal mining industries. As of this date in 2010, there were 19 fatalities reported in these industries. This is the 3rd Fall of Person fatality in 2011. There was 1 Fall of Person fatality in the same period in 2010.