METAL/NONMETAL MINE FATALITY - On August 31, 2012, a 49-year old driller with 24 years of mining experience was killed at an underground gold mine. The victim was assigned to prepare the work area to set up a long-hole bench drill and was working near an open stope when he fell down the stope. He was inadvertently loaded out with the material and transported by a haul truck to the surface where he was later discovered.
- Always use fall protection with a lanyard anchored securely when working where there is a danger of falling.
- Examine workplaces for changing conditions when the strata, drill patterns, or other workplace conditions change.
- Establish policies and procedures for safely clearing hung or stuck material and ensure that persons follow those safe policies and procedures.
- Ensure that persons are task-trained and understand the hazards associated with the work being performed.
- Ensure that areas are barricaded or have warning signs posted at all approaches where hazards exist that are not immediately obvious.
- Consider using a "miner in distress" call feature available on many communication and tracking systems carried by miners. This feature is designed to improve emergency response if a miner working alone or out of sight of other miners requires immediate assistance.
This is the 11th fatality reported in calendar year 2012 in the metal and nonmetal mining industries. As of this date in 2011, there were 7 fatalities reported in these industries. This is the 2nd Fall of Person fatality in 2012. There was 1 Fall of Person fatality in the same period in 2011.