Safety Share – Securing the Face of a Drift

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Tunnel of abandoned chalky mine, Belgorod, Russia

Fatality Alerts

On May 31, 2008, a 40 year-old driller with 2 years experience was fatally injured at an underground lead-zinc mine in USA. The victim was using a jackleg drill to drill a hole near the face when the bit came off the drill steel. He was attempting to retrieve the bit when a piece of rock, approximately 8¬Ĺ feet x 4 feet x 14 inches thick, fell from the roof striking him. (*1)

On January 29, 2012, a 47 year-old, development miner was fatality injured at an underground nickel mine in Canada. The victim was loading the face of the rock with explosives, from a man-basket, when the incident occurred. (*2)

On May 21, 2015, a 46 year-old, underground bogger operator was fatality injured at an underground copper mine in Australia. The victim was struck by falling rock when working at the face. (*3)

Preliminary Report

Eight workers died in Ontario underground mines between 2000 and 2014. In addition, 44 other workers received critical injuries because of ground instability. (*4)

Best Practices

  • Use the Rapid Advance Shield to protect from rock bursts or falls of ground.
  • Use of modern remote equipment will allow operators to work away from hazards at the development face.
  • Ensure workers are trained and understand the proper use of equipment.

References

Mine Safety and Health Administration https://www.msha.gov/data-reports/fatality-reports/2008/fatality-11-may-31-2008/fatality-alert
United Steelworkers Association http://assets.usw.org/resources/hse/help/2012-Fatality-Report.pdf
Perth Now News https://www.perthnow.com.au/news/wa/half-of-workers-killed-on-wa-mine-sites-had-inexperienced-bosses-ng-7b2b5af9f2a5e9d778980d5f8c8d8149
Ontario Ministry of Labour https://www.labour.gov.on.ca/english/hs/sawo/pubs/fs_groundcontrol.php