Contractor seriously injured after falling 20 feet, says MSHA

A contract employee fell 20 feet during the installation of a building roof at a mine on 22 October 2018, says the Mine Safety and Health Administration. The employee landed on a concrete floor and was seriously injured.

Investigators found the cable in the self-retracting device (SRD) the employee was using had broken near the load-end clip. The investigation confirmed that the SRD, a device is designed to be used overhead with 0 degrees of swing fall, was anchored so that there was 90 degrees of swing fall.

The MSHA has issued the following best practice guidelines:

  • Use fall protection devices in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommendations.
  • Ensure that a safe means of access to a working place is provided.  Train miners on how to safely access all work areas.
  • Inspect fall protection devices according to the manufacturer’s recommendations prior to each use, and replace when defects or wear is evident.
  • Protect openings near travel ways and work areas through which persons may fall by installing appropriately designed railings, barriers, or covers.
  • Always use the right tools for the task being performed.

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