The first metal/non-metal fatality of 2020 involved a “Fall of Person” incident. Photo courtesy of MSHA.
A miner fell into a portable loadout bin on Jan. 8, 2020, and died at the scene, according to a Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) fatality alert. It was the first fatality of 2020 and is classified as a “Fall of Person” incident.
MSHA offers the following best practices to prevent these types of accidents:
- Check handrails and gates. Ensure handrails and gates are substantially constructed, properly secured, and free of defects.
- Install mechanical flow-enhancing devices so workers do not have to enter a bin to start or maintain material flow.
- Don’t stand on material stored in bins. Material stored in a bin can bridge over the hopper outlet, creating a hidden void below the material surface.
- Lock-out, tag-out. Do not enter a bin until the supply and discharge equipment is locked out.
- Wear a safety belt or harness secured with a lanyard to an adequate anchor point before entering a bin. Station a second person near the anchor point to make sure there’s no slack in the fall protection system.
- Train all miners to recognize fall hazards and properly use fall protection.
- Provide safe access to all work places, and discuss and establish safe work procedures.
This is the first fatality reported in 2020, and the first fatality classified as “Fall of Person.”