July 11, 2013
The Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) has released the investigation report on an April 27, 2013, fatality at a surface gypsum operation involving a 58-year-old mechanic who was killed when he was clearing a blockage on a mobile track-mounted crusher and became entangled in the discharge conveyor.
According to the investigation report, the accident was the result of two main factors: “[m]anagement failed to ensure that persons followed previously established procedures to deenergize the crusher before performing maintenance work,” and “the discharge belt conveyor was not blocked against hazardous motion.”
Following the fatality, operation management implemented the following corrective action: “Management retrained all miners regarding established procedures to deenergize the mobile crusher and block moving machine parts against hazardous motion before maintenance work begins.”
MSHA issued a citation to the operation under the provisions of Section 103(j), but modified the order to Section 103(k) upon arrival at the site the day of the accident. The order was terminated after the operation implemented corrective actions.
MSHA also issued a citation to the operation under the provisions of Section 104(a) of the Mine Act for a violation of CFR 56.14105, which requires “[r]epairs or maintenance of machinery or equipment shall be performed only after the power is off, and the machinery or equipment blocked against hazardous motion. Machinery or equipment motion or activation is permitted to the extent that adjustments or testing cannot be performed without motion or activation, provided that persons are effectively protected from hazardous motion.”
To read the full investigation report, click here.