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Summer accident surge alarming to MSHA

By |  September 8, 2021
Powered haulage accidents continue to happen, likely spurring the Mine Safety & Health Administration to take action with a rule. Photo: Alexandr Baranov/iStock / Getty Images Plus/Getty Images

Powered haulage accidents continue to happen, likely spurring the Mine Safety & Health Administration to take action with a rule. Photo: Alexandr Baranov/iStock / Getty Images Plus/Getty Images

Mining fatalities surged toward the end of July and into August, with the Mine Safety & Health Administration (MSHA) reporting six fatal accidents between July 21 and Aug. 11.

MSHA classified two of the six as powered haulage accidents. The others were classified as inundation; machinery; “slip or fall of person”; and “falling, rolling or sliding rock or material of any kind.”

Incident details

An Aug. 3 powered haulage accident occurred at a Texas quarry where MSHA’s preliminary report says a haul truck ran over a miner while he was walking to his normal work area. The agency had not made a final determination on the nature of the incident or conclusions regarding the cause of the accident as P&Q went to press this month.

A July 28 accident happened at a Georgia dimensional stone mine, where MSHA says a worker was standing on a rock ledge to extract dimensional stone when a triangular section of rock broke off. The event caused the worker to fall about 35 ft., MSHA says.

According to MSHA, the incident was the first 2021 fatality classified as “falling, rolling or sliding rock or material of any kind.”

A July 26 accident, meanwhile, occurred at a Pennsylvania cement plant, where MSHA says a contract employee who was performing maintenance on a cement cooler fell 23 ft. onto a concrete floor. A wooden board reportedly broke, the agency adds, causing the fall. The contract employee was reportedly not wearing fall protection.

The three other fatal accidents between July 21 and Aug. 11 happened in coal facilities. These occurred in Utah, West Virginia and Wyoming.


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