United States
Department of Labor

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Fatality Alert - Fatality #14 - August 3, 2015

Accident Report: Fatality Reference: 
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METAL/NONMETAL MINE FATALITY – On August 3, 2015, a 26-year old miner with 4 years of experience was killed at an underground gold mine. The drill was traveling in the reverse direction of travel up a 10% slope and was carrying a 13½ ft. long drill steel in a rack that had been installed on the machine. The forward end of the drill steel struck a rib causing it to be pushed back toward the operator. The drill steel struck and killed the operator, and caused him to fall to the ground. No witnesses were present at the time of the accident.

Underground and against a wall lies a machine cart with a long drill installed.
Best Practices: 
  • When mobile equipment is equipped with seat belts they should be worn at all times when operating that equipment.
  • Loads on mobile equipment shall be properly secured and positioned safely prior to moving equipment.
  • Miners should operate mobile equipment at speeds consistent with the type of equipment, roadway conditions, grades, clearances, visibility, and other traffic that allow them to maintain control at all times. 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.
  • Keep mobile equipment operator's stations free of materials that can impair the safe operation of the equipment. Ensure that equipment controls are maintained and function as designed.
Additional Information: 

This is the 14th fatality reported in calendar year 2015 in metal and nonmetal mining. As of this date in 2014, there were 19 fatalities reported in metal and nonmetal mining. This is the 3rd Powered Haulage fatality in 2015. There were 4 Powered Haulage fatalities in the same period in 2014.