Fatality Alert - Fatality #7 - May 23, 2012

Accident Report: Fatality Reference: 
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METAL/NONMETAL MINE FATALITY - On May 23, 2012, a 36 year-old foreman with about 9½ years of experience was killed at a sand and gravel operation. He was operating an excavator on a dike separating two ponds. The ground beneath the excavator tracks failed and the excavator toppled into one of the ponds.

a dike separating two ponds
Best Practices: 
  • Examine work areas to identify all hazards and remediate before starting any work.
  • Evaluate the stability of the ground (slopes and berms) prior to operating equipment near any drop off or edge.
  • Always be attentive to changes in ground conditions and visibility when operating machinery.
  • Perform the work at a safe distance away from the edge of a pond or where the stability of the ground may be unknown.
  • If a potential hazard is present, use long reach equipment to limit exposure and maintain a safe distance away.
  • Consider areas that have experienced previous slope failures to be unstable and do not approach until the area is evaluated for stability.
  • Wear flotation devices where there is a danger of falling into water.
  • Be alert to changes in ground conditions such as cracking, bulging, sloughing, undercutting, and erosion.
Additional Information: 

This is the 7th fatality reported in calendar year 2012 in the metal and nonmetal mining industries. As of this date in 2011, there were 5 fatalities reported in these industries. This is the 1stMachinery fatality in 2012. There was 1 Machinery fatality in the same period in 2011.