April 23, 2014
An accident at an underground limestone mine has left two workers dead, according to an accident report released Wednesday by the Mine Safety and Health Administration.
The report notes that the April 11, 2014 incident involved a 53-year-old scaler and a 29-year-old scaler, both with eight years of experience, who were killed when the basket they were in, which was on a boom truck and scaling a pillar 40 feet above the mine floor, fell after large slabs of rock struck an outrigger and the back of the truck.
MSHA recommends these best practices for fall prevention in underground rock mining:
Establish safe work procedures and train all persons to recognize and understand these procedures.
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 persons.
Always examine, sound, and test for loose ground in areas before starting to work, after blasting, and as ground conditions warrant.
Always wear fall protection where there is a danger of falling.
Scale loose material from a safe position and location.
Test for loose material frequently during work activities.
Install ground support in roof and ribs where conditions warrant.
Use equipment with a reach that reduces the possibility of the equipment being struck by falling material.
Position equipment to keep outriggers and boom from being struck by falling material.
The full accident investigation report is not yet available. For more information about this accident, click here.