MSHA Alert: Blasting Safety

December 17, 2013

Screen Shot 2013-12-17 at 1.00.44 PMThe Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) has released the investigation report on a December 4, 2013, fatality at a crushed stone mine.

The incident involved a 63-year-old lead man with 16 years of experience who was killed when he was struck by flyrock from a blast he initiated.

MSHA reports that the victim “was standing 153 feet from the nearest blast hole and was struck by rock as large as 19 inches long by 14 inches wide by 7 inches thick.”

MSHA recommends the following best practices for blasting:

  • 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 in safe work procedures.

  • Maintain and use all available methods of communication, such as sirens and radios, to warn persons of an impending blast. Establish methods to ensure that all persons are out of the blasting area.

  • Guard or barricade all access routes to the blasting area to prevent the passage of persons or vehicles.

  • Before firing a blast, give ample warning to allow all persons to be evacuated.

  • Clear and remove all persons from the blasting area unless suitable blasting shelters are provided to protect persons from flyrock.

  • Verify that the blasting procedures are effective and being followed at all times.

To view the full accident report, click here.

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