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Fatal Mine Accident Attributed To Lax Safety Procedures

Federal investigators have found that the death of an Illinois construction worker was due to lax safety procedures at a mine construction site. A report issued by the Mine Safety and Health Administration says that the fatal construction accident happened on May 15, 2012 when the worker was knocked over by an overloaded hose. The hose was being used to direct concrete into the mine shaft and form concrete walls.

When the concrete came out of the hopper too quickly, the worker and his coworkers were knocked onto the suspended platform they were working on. The construction worker died several days later at his home in Marion, Illinois, from complications from this injuries.

“The lack of effective procedures to prevent the hose from surging contributed to the accident,” the MSHA report stated, adding that the construction worker’s “death was charged to the mining industry because his death resulted from a work related injury.”

MSHA found that the root cause of the construction worker’s injuries and death was the failure to make sure that the concrete pouring process was performed in a manner that would minimize the exposure of employees to the hazards associated with the surging concrete hose. The contractor modified its shaft sinking plan in order to prevent similar accidents from occurring in the future.

Best practices for concrete hose operations include safety chains or guarding to protect workers from being injured by movement of the hose, and anchoring the discharge line.