MSHA Alert: Bank and slope safety

March 13, 2014

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The Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) has released the preliminary report on a Feb. 28, 2014 fatality at a sand and gravel operation.

Related: Keep Experienced Miners Safe

The incident involved a 50-year-old supervisor with 27 years of experience who was killed when, at a backfill site, he approached an 80-foot-high bank that failed and engulfed him.

MSHA recommends the following best practices for working near banks, slopes and similar structures:

  • Establish and 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.

  • Task train all persons to recognize all potential hazardous conditions that can decrease bank or slope stability and ensure they understand safe job procedures for elimination of the hazards.

  • Prior to beginning work and as ground conditions warrant during the shift, examine all pit, highwall, slope and bank conditions. Be especially vigilant for these conditions after each ran, freeze or thaw.

  • Use mining methods that ensure pit, highwall, slope and bank stability and safe working conditions.

  • Correct hazardous conditions by working from a safe location.

  • Stay clear of potentially unstable areas.

The full accident investigation report is not yet available. For more information about this accident, click here.

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