Hazard training, communication vital: MSHA

JUST days after a Kentucky accident that left one worker dead, federal officials have released a collection of best practices for operations to avoid similar situations.
Hazard training, communication vital: MSHA Hazard training, communication vital: MSHA Hazard training, communication vital: MSHA Hazard training, communication vital: MSHA Hazard training, communication vital: MSHA

The scene of a November 2009 fatal accident in Kentucky.

Donna Schmidt

The US Mine Safety and Health Administration said that mechanic Leslie Trent, 37, died from his injuries after being struck by a hoist boom while disassembling a two-art sheave wheel with Clifton Smith, 34. The two were working at TECO Energy’s Upper Second Creek Portals in Perry County.

According to a previous MSHA report, the hoist fell about 12-15 feet before hitting the men. Trent had four years of mining experience.

While Smith was treated for his injuries at a local medical facility, Trent died from his injuries on November 24.

Both men were contractors employed by Indiana-based Frontier-Kemper Constructors.

In hopes of preventing a similar incident at other US operations, MSHA has issued several best practices, including:

Securely block raised equipment to prevent accidental movement before working beneath such equipment;

Routinely monitor work habits and strictly enforce compliance with established safe work procedures;

Ensure that equipment operators communicate with other workers who work in close proximity to their equipment;

Ensure that personnel are trained to recognize hazardous work procedures, including working under the boom of a crane; and

Discuss work procedures and identify all hazards associated with the work to be performed, along with the methods to protect personnel.

MSHA encouraged anyone with additional prevention ideas to submit them through its website, including the number of fatalities and year of the incident.

Trent’s death was the 15th in the industry in the 2009 calendar year and the second classified by MSHA under hoisting. As of the same date in 2008, there were 27 fatalities reported in coal.

The bituminous underground mine at Upper Second Creek Portals is operated by TECO subsidiary Perry County Coal Corporation.

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