Serious Accident Alert: Miner buried to chest in hopper; MSHA offers Best Practices

Kerry Clines

May 15, 2017

The Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) issued a Serious Accident Alert after a miner was buried up to his chest in a hopper. On Tuesday morning, March 21, 2017, a miner at the  Hi Grade Materials sand and gravel plant in Lucerne Valley, Calif., entered a feed hopper to remove bolts on the skirt board. When he heard the bull dozer that pushes material into the hopper approaching, he tried to climb out through the opening at the bottom of the hopper. The bull dozer operator, unaware that the miner was inside the hopper, pushed material into the hopper, burying the miner up to his chest. Emergency services crews were called out, and it took them approximately two hours to extricate the miner from the material.

MSHA offers the following Best Practices to help prevent this type of accident:

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