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.