Serious Accident Alert: Miner slips on ladder, suffers injury

Kerry Clines

March 12, 2018

The Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) issued a Serious Accident Alert after a miner slipped on a ladder. On February 12, 2018, a plant operator at a sand and gravel operation was helping another miner remove a head pulley from a conveyor. When he ascended a 12-foot step ladder, his foot slipped, and he slid down the ladder. The victim was transported to a nearby hospital where he was treated for a broken ankle.

Miner Falls From Ladder

MSHA offers the following Best Practices to help prevent this type of accident:
  • Use fall protection when working in an elevated position and securely tie-off where the danger of falling exists.
  • Provide and maintain safe access to all work areas. Train miners on how to safely access all work areas.
  • Provide scaffolding or other types of temporary work platforms when working from a ladder does not provide sufficient stability or access for the task.
  • Use a ladder only on a stable and level surface. 


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  • Keep ladders free of any slippery materials on the steps or rungs.
  • Wear proper footwear and keep it clean of potential slipping hazards such as dirt, oil, and grease before getting onto a ladder.
  • Always face the ladder and maintain three points of contact (two hands and a foot, or two feet and a hand) when climbing or descending.
  • Do not carry personal items or supplies when climbing or descending a ladder. Use a cord or rope to lift or lower supplies or tools.

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