Testimonials

MSHA Accident Report: November 23, 2020

  Houston Plant, Harris, TX – November 2020

MINE FATALITY- On November 23, 2020, a miner was electrocuted while troubleshooting a disconnect box for the classifier drive motor. The victim had the electrical disconnect box open and the main power supply was not deenergized.

“Best Practices” provided from MSHA:

  • Ensure electrical circuit components are properly designed and installed by qualified electrical personnel.

  • Ensure electrical troubleshooting and work are performed bypeople with proper electrical qualifications. Positively identify thecircuit on which work will be conducted.

  • Before performing electrical work, locate the visual disconnectaway from an enclosure and open it, lock it, and tag it, to ensureall electrical components in the enclosure are de-energized. Verify by testing for voltage using properly rated test equipment.

  • Wear properly rated and well maintained personal protective equipment, including arc flash protection such as a hood, gloves, shirt and pants.

  • Train miners on safe work practices for electrical equipment and circuits.

 

Click here for the full report from the United States Department of Labor

MSHA Accident Report: July 9, 2020 Fatality

Hudson Sand Mine, Peach, Georgia – July 2020

The morning of July 9th, 2020, a mine superintendent with 36 years of mining experience lost his life when he contacted energized high-voltage components in a 4,160 volt (4,160 VAC), three-phase electrical enclosure.

The accident occurred because the mine operator’s policies, procedures, and training were inadequate to ensure that the employees properly de-energized, locked out, tagged, and tested the 4,160 VAC enclosure and internal components prior to performing work on the circuits.

Click here for the full investigation report 

 

“Best Practices” provided by MSHA: 
  • Follow these steps before performing electrical work inside a high voltage enclosure:
    1. Locate the high voltage visual disconnect away from the enclosure that supplies incoming electrical power to the enclosure.
    2. Open the visual disconnect to provide visual evidence that the incoming power cable(s) or conductors have been de-energized.
    3. Lock-out and tag-out the visual disconnect yourself. Never rely on others to do this for you.
    4. Ground the de-energized conductors.
  • Verify circuits are de-energized using properly rated electrical meters and non-contact voltage testers.
  • Ensure properly qualified miners perform all work on high voltage equipment.
  • Wear properly rated and well maintained personal protective equipment, including arc flash protection such as a hood, gloves, shirt and pants.
  • Train miners on safe work practices for high voltage electrical equipment and circuits.

 

Empire State Mine resumes underground mining operations

Empire State Mine resumes underground mining operations after a hoist malfunction on Friday, that was caused by an “electrical problem”.

140 workers were unable to go back underground in the mine because of an accident that happened Friday, when an elevator taking workers down into the mine abruptly stopped and injured 9 workers. 

Mine officials say the elevator stopped because the braking system malfunctioned. 

Two of the injured miners are recovering at home. Mine officials say one has a dislocated knee; the other a broken ankle.

Below is the full news release from Empire State Mine:

Underground mining operations have resumed at the Empire State Mine following a hoist incident that occurred on July 27, 2018. During routine transportation of personnel underground, the braking system on the personnel conveyance (“cage”) unexpectedly engaged causing it to stop abruptly. The braking system then released, causing the cage to resume its travel downwards at normal speed at which time the hoist operator pushed the emergency stop button, bringing the cage to a controlled stop before returning the personnel to the surface.

Of the 30 contractors travelling in the cage, nine had injuries ranging from sprains and strains to a fracture, and were treated at local hospitals. Seven of the contractors were released immediately. The remaining contractors, one of whom had a dislocated knee and the other a fractured ankle, are at home recovering. Mine management has been in regular contact with the individuals affected by the incident, and their families, to provide support.

The incident was investigated by the company, third party hoist engineering experts, and the Mine Safety and Health Administration (“MSHA”). The cause of the incident was electrical in nature, and immediate corrective actions have been taken. Additional safeguards, including backup power supply, are being implemented to prevent recurrence.

The operation of the hoist has been approved by MSHA and underground operations resumed late yesterday.

The safety and well-being of our people is our top priority as we ramp up production at the Empire State Mine,” stated Keith Boyle, Chief Operating Officer. 

Click here for the article directly from WWNY