Mine Safety and Health Administration issues Report of Investigation on fatal fall at Vega mine

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VEGA, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) – The Mine Safety and Health Administration has released its report on a fatal fall at Rogers Group’s West Amarillo Sand & Gravel in Vega, Texas.

The report states that 35-year-old plant operator Richard E. Ramirez was clearing a stoppage in a cone crusher feed box when he fell 28 feet from the basket of the personnel lift he was using.

MSHA’s accident investigation team conducted a physical inspection of the accident site, interviewed miners, and reviewed conditions and work procedures relevant to the accident. MSHA conducted the investigation with the assistance of mine management and miners.

Investigators determined Ramirez was wearing a fall protection harness and a six foot retractable lanyard, but the lanyard was not tied off at the time of the accident.

The report states the following cause and corrective action after the investigation:

The accident investigation team conducted a root cause analysis and identified the underlying cause of the accident, and the mine operator implemented the corresponding corrective action to prevent a recurrence.

Root Cause:  The mine operator did not ensure that miners properly wore fall protection where there was a danger of falling.

Corrective Action: The mine operator retrained plant operators and plant maintenance personnel on the requirement of wearing fall protection and their “working at heights policy” to include the requirement to tie off while using a personnel lift.

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