The Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) issued a Serious Accident Alert after a miner fell while working on a crusher. On July 25, 2017, a miner was attempting to change the oil filter on the diesel motor on one of the cone crushers at a limestone plant. The miner was using a filter wrench to remove the filter while standing on the battery box adjacent to the motor. The filter wrench broke and slipped, causing the miner to lose balance and fall approximately 5 feet to the ground. The miner was injured in the fall.
MSHA offers the following Best Practices to help prevent this type of accident:
- Establish and discuss safe work procedures before beginning the task to ensure that workers are not exposed to hazards when performing maintenance or repairs.
- Communicate and correct hazards in a timely manner.
- Ensure that workers are trained in and follow established safe work procedures recommended by the equipment manufacturer.
- Provide safe access to all work areas, including elevated platforms.
- Use appropriate fall protection or fall prevention where there is a danger of falling.
- Prior to starting the job, inspect all tools for defects that may affect safety.
- Employ the use of a lever or “cheater bar” to avoid applying excessive force that may result in loss of balance if the tool being used fails under stress.