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Department of Labor

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Fatality Alert - Fatality #4 - January 26, 2015

Accident Report: Fatality Reference: 
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METAL/NONMETAL MINE FATALITY – On January 26, 2015, a 57-year old heavy equipment operator with 36 years of experience was seriously injured at a phosphate mine.  He was operating an excavator near a water filled ditch when the excavator tipped forward and went in the water, submerging the cab.  The victim was removed from the cab and transported to a hospital where he died later that day.

location of fatal accident
Best Practices: 
  • Task train all persons to recognize all potential hazardous conditions and safe job procedures to identify and eliminate all hazards before beginning work, specifically the limited visibility of large equipment.
  • Discuss safe work procedures before beginning work.  Identify and control all hazards associated with the work to be performed and the methods to properly protect miners.
  • Provide traffic patterns and roads that minimize the danger of machines traveling near bodies of water.
  • Conduct examinations of travelways to evaluate hazards.  
  • Install barriers, markers, or other warning devices to aid equipment operators where travelways are not recognizable or hazards are not apparent.  Limit travel of mobile equipment and inform mobile equipment operators of hazards.
  • Do not travel into areas where ground conditions can't be verified.  If necessary, use the bucket of the machine to probe the travel/work area to check the ground conditions.
Additional Information: 

This is the 4th fatality reported in calendar year 2015 in metal and nonmetal mining.  As of this date in 2014, there were 0 fatalities reported in metal and nonmetal mining.  This is the 1st Machinery fatality in 2015.  There were 0 Machinery fatalities in the same period in 2014.