MSHA issues Fatalgram after miner gets entangled in conveyor tail pulley

Kerry Clines

September 19, 2017

The Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) issued a Fatalgram following a conveyor tail pulley accident. On September 5, 2017, a 20-year old plant operator with 23 weeks of experience was fatally injured at G.S. Materials Inc.‘s Emery Pit, a sand and gravel mine in North Carolina. The victim was performing maintenance on a belt conveyor when he became entangled in the tail pulley.

Mining Operation

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

  • Establish policies and procedures for conducting specific tasks on belt conveyors.
  • Before beginning any work, ensure that persons assigned to work on belt conveyors are task trained and understand the hazards associated with the work to be performed.
  • Do not perform work on a belt conveyor until the power is off, locked, and tagged, and machinery components are blocked against motion.
  • Never clean pulleys or idlers manually while belt conveyors are operating.
  • Identify hazards around belt conveyor systems, design guarding, and securely install the guarding to ensure miners do not contact moving machine parts.

This is the eighth fatality reported in 2017 in metal/non-metal mining and the third powered haulage fatality.

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