A miner received serious injuries when a piece of metal floor grating weighing over 100 lbs struck him, says the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA). A construction supervisor stepped on a section of unsupported floor grating fell through the opening it was supposed to cover. The miner was struck 25 feet below.
MSHA has issued best practice guidelines following the incident.
- Ensure that floor gratings and covers installed over travelways are substantially constructed, fully supported, secured in place, inspected regularly and properly maintained.
- Inspect metal structures located in wet or corrosive environments frequently to identify deterioration that may present a safety hazard.
- Evaluate the integrity and support strength of any cover that was not designed as a walkway prior to walking on it. Provide and maintain a safe means of access to all working places.
- Restrict access to covers over openings not specifically designed to serve as travelways. Provide readily visible warning signs that clearly display the nature of the hazard and any protective action required.
- If the travel surface integrity is unknown or cannot be readily confirmed, ALWAYS wear fall protection.