MSHA: Welder falls 15 feet and receives critical spinal injury

A welder was injured while installing a caged ladder when it fell on his hard hat, according to the Mine Safety and Health Administration. While recovering on the screening deck, the victim lost consciousness and fell through the opening between the mid rail and toe board 15 feet to the ground. He was transported to a nearby hospital with a critical spinal injury.

Best Practices: 

  • Use proper rigging to secure objects from falling, and block suspended objects against motion prior to beginning work.
  • Immediately evaluate any injuries to miners and remove them to a secure area if possible.
  • Conduct a job hazard analysis to identify all potential hazards associated with the work to be performed, and jointly discuss procedures to minimize those hazards.
  • Review maintenance procedures to ensure all possible hazards have been identified and appropriate controls are in place to protect miners.
  • Make sure everyone is positioned so they are not exposed to the hazards.
  • Use appropriate fall protection where there is a danger of falling.


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