Best practices issued over Bridger death

THE Mine Safety and Health Administration has issued a number of best practices following the death a 49-year-old contractor employee at Pacific Minerals’ Bridger underground coal mine in Wyoming.

Angie Tomlinson

On December 9 last year, the ironworker/welder contractor with 5 days mining experience fell from a height of 25ft, resulting in massive head trauma.


The victim had climbed over a handrail with a pry bar to assist in repositioning a cover for a truck dump station. While prying, the cover suddenly moved, causing the victim to lose his balance and fall to a lower level of the truck dump.


The victim died of his injuries on December 26, 2005.


MSHA issued the following best practices to avoid similar accidents in the future:

Always use fall protection equipment, safety belts and lines when working near elevated openings where there is a danger of falling.


Fill bin with material prior to working over the bin.


Heed handrails and guards in place at openings through which persons may fall.


Train personnel in safe work procedures regarding the use of handrails and fall protection equipment during maintenance and construction activities and ensure their use.


Stop, Look, Analyse, and Manage (SLAM) each task to identify all possible hazards.


Take action to protect yourself before performing every task.