METAL/NONMETAL MINE FATALITY – On January 25, 2017, a miner was found in an underground limestone mine after failing to exit the mine at the end of the shift. The miner was located under material that had fallen from the rib in an area of the mine that had been barricaded to prevent entry due to bad roof and rib conditions.
- Install barriers to impede unauthorized entry into areas where unattended hazardous ground conditions exist.
- Establish procedures to account for miners in all areas of the mine – surface, underground, shops, and facilities – across and at the end of shifts.
- Do not cross barriers that are intended to prevent access to dangered-off areas of underground mines.
- Train miners to recognize potentially hazardous ground conditions and to understand safe job procedures for elimination of the hazards.
- Never enter hazardous areas that have been dangered-off or otherwise identified to prohibit entry.
- Develop and train miners on a method that clearly alerts miners not to enter hazardous areas.
- If possible, do not work alone. If working alone, communicate intended movements to a responsible person.
30 CFR § 57.20011 Barricades and warning signs.
Areas where health or safety hazards exist that are not immediately obvious to employees shall be barricaded, or warning signs shall be posted at all approaches. Warning signs shall be readily visible, legible, and display the nature of the hazard and any protective action required.
This fall of face/rib/highwall fatality is the first metal and nonmetal mining death reported in 2017. As of this date in 2016, there were no fatalities reported in metal and nonmetal mining.