Serious Accident Alert: Blast mishap injures miners

Kerry Clines

January 22, 2018

The Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) issued a Serious Accident Alert following a blast mishap at a sand and gravel operation. On December 11, 2017, miners were preparing for a shot and were positioned about 130 yards from the face. One miner was standing between a pickup truck and an excavator; the other two were under the excavator. The shot detonated prematurely, without warning. The miners were struck with debris, which resulted in injuries.

Sand and Gravel Operation

MSHA offers the following Best Practices to help prevent this type of accident:
• Consider mine specific conditions and rock strata when designing blasts to prevent fly rock.
• Closely follow mine policies and procedures through all phases of the blasting operation.
• Schedule blasting between shifts or on off-shifts.
• Utilize suitable blast shelters for all persons at the mine site during blasting.
• Keep coworkers away from the blaster.
• Always consider past ‘Fly Rock’ when determining your Blast Area. The Blast Area should a minimum of 1-1/2 times the farthest distance that any previous Fly Rock traveled.

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