United States
Department of Labor

Search form


Fatality Alert - Fatality #15 - December 19, 2016

Accident Report: Fatality Reference: 
PDF Version: 

METAL/NONMETAL MINE FATALITY – On December 19, 2016, a 62-year old Front-end Loader Operator with 6 years of mining experience was fatally injured at a sand and gravel surface mine. The victim was engulfed by sand when entered a hopper to remove a blockage.

Best Practices: 
  • Task train persons to recognize all potential hazardous conditions and to understand safe job procedures for elimination of the hazards before beginning work.
  • Train miners in safe work procedures and hazard recognition, specifically when clearing blocked hoppers.
  • Ensure employees use proper housekeeping procedures in order to avoid extraneous trash from inadvertently entering feed hoppers.
  • Establish and discuss policies and procedures for safely clearing hoppers.
  • Equip hoppers with mechanical devices, grates/grizzlies or other effective means of handling material so persons are not required to work where they are exposed to entrapment by sliding material.  
  • Before working on or near equipment, ensure that the discharge operating controls are deenergized and locked out and ensure that material cannot discharge when the feeder is not activated.
  • Wear a safety harness and lanyard, which is securely anchored and tended by another person, prior to entering bins, hoppers, tanks, or silos.
Additional Information: 

This is the 15th fatal reported in calendar year 2016 in metal and nonmetal mining. As of this date in 2015, there were 16 fatalities reported in metal and nonmetal mining. This is the 2nd fatality classified as fall of material in 2016.  There were 3 fall of material accident classification fatalities in the same period in 2015.