Fatality Alert - Fatality #14 - June 18, 2014

Accident Report: Fatality Reference: 
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METAL/NONMETAL MINE FATALITY - On June 18, 2014, a 41-year-old production supervisor with 19 years of mining experience was killed at a sand and gravel mine.  The victim and two contract workers were attempting to remove an impeller that was seized onto the threaded shaft of a centrifugal pump.  After several failed attempts to unscrew the impeller, heat from a torch was applied to the enclosed hub on the impeller.  While applying heat, the hub exploded and metal fragments struck the victim. 

A centrifugal pump
Best Practices: 
  • Establish and discuss safe work procedures before beginning work. Identify and control all hazards associated with the work to be performed and use methods to properly protect persons.  
  • Train all persons to understand the hazards associated with the work being performed.
  • Do not apply heat or open flame where enclosed spaces such as impeller hubs, mounted tires, suspension struts, or tanks may be subject to explosion except as directed by the manufacturer. 
  • Always examine materials before applying heat, cutting, or welding to ensure gases from the applied heat can vent.
  • Never apply heat to materials before ensuring that flammables/combustibles/explosive materials are not present.
  • Never apply heat to materials where pressure build up is possible.
  • Do not apply heat or open flame where lubricants, oil, or grease are present.
  • Use special tools, provided by the manufacturer, to loosen an impeller on a pump.
  • Refer to the maintenance manual, warning labels on the pump, or contact the manufacturer for special safety precautions.
Additional Information: 

This is the 14th fatality reported in calendar year 2014 in metal and nonmetal mining.  As of this date in 2013, there were 9 fatalities reported in metal and nonmetal mining.  This is the 1st Ignition or Explosion of Gas fatality in 2014.  There were 0 Ignition or Explosion of Gas fatalities in the same period in 2013.