Vol. 23, Nos. 14&15

  • Accidents:
    • Miner has skull fracture at Marshall County Coal (306)
    • Contractor Falls 14 feet at PR Springs Oil Shale Mine (307)
    • Energized power line burns worker at Permian Frac Sand (307)
    • Worker Has arm crushed at recently-registered Tom Green Renfroe Pit (308)
    • Miner breaks pelvis in 4-foot fall at Tata Chemicals (309)
    • Preparedness found lacking after truck incident at Con-Ag Inc. (309)
    • Maintenance worker burned by kiln dust at Carmeuse Buffington Plant (310)
    • Miner has 3rd-å burns after truck fuel tank explodes at Viburnum #35 (310)
    • Roof fall knocks out miner at Revelation Energy D-16 Mine (311)
    • Air blast from roof fall injures miner at Shoal Creek (312)
    • Two miners sustain fractures in moving long wall equipment at Oak Grove (312)
    • Cyanide release causes evacuation at Midas Mine (313)
    • Quarry Fined $56,500 Where Supervisor Injured in Hopper (314)
  • Blasting and Explosives: Judge upholds fines for supervisor, superintendent for blasting violation (316)
  • Criminal Proceedings: Bresee Trucking fined, owner sentenced in advanced notice case (317)
  • Discrimination: Commission sends case back to ALJ for reassessment of penalties (319)
  • Electrical Equipment: Requirement for yearly checks of extension cords upheld by D.C. Circuit (322)
  • Equipment Safety: MSHA issues warning on drilling hazards (323)
  • Fatalities:
    • One killed on surface by shaft explosion at Road Fork #51 (325)
    • Multiple issues contributed to death from flyrock at Martin Marietta Plant 862 (326)
    • Failure to Set brake and lower blade caused death of dozer operator at Chemours (329)
  • On the Move: New MSHA Superintendent has background in education and military (331)
  • Personal Liability: Superintendent, foreman held liable for housekeeping, examination violations (332)
  • Settlements: In 5-0 Vote: Mine Act clear on commission’s role in settlements (333)
  • Review Commission Orders and ALJ Decisions (337)

Kosmos Cement Contractor Worker Dies in Accident

A 33 year old contract worker at Kosmos Cement in Louisville, KY., was killed on Aug. 9, according to MSHA records.

The worker, Richard Snyder, was attempting to replace the lift cable pulleys on the chute located at the barge loadout. The lower portion of the chute unexpectedly fell, and the lift cable pinned the victim against the chute causing fatal injuries.

The contractor’s death comes only months after Kosmos Cement  voluntarily pled guilty April 20 in U.S. District Court in Kentucky for willfully violating MSHA’s metal/nonmetal safety standard, §56.14100(b). The company was sentenced by Magistrate Judge Colin Lindsay to pay a $400,000 fine related to the accident of contract employee Filipe M. Fiscalla (see 23 MSHN 183).

Fiscalla, 34, died Feb. 21, 2014, from a 51-ft fall into an elevator shaft at the Cemex Inc. Kosmos Cement Co. plant in Jefferson County, Ky. A criminal charge was filed against the company on March 25, 2016.

In that case, United States Attorney John Kuhn said,  “This is one of the worst cases of negligence on the part of a company. Improper maintenance resulted in an employee’s death. This agreement will ensure the proper maintenance of the cement facility and safety for the employees through mandatory on-sight inspections and a written Maintenance Control Program.” The government also agreed in the criminal proceeding to forego prosecution of agents and employees of the company.

Records show for this most recent fatality, Snyder had worked three years at the cement facility for the contractor Huelsman & Sweeney. Fiscalla, who died 30 months ago, had worked for another independent contractor at the plant when he fell to his death.

“I’m More Powerful Than Congress.”

The Bankruptcy Court in Nevada today has told miners Matt Varady and Daniel Lowe that they may not pursue their discrimination claims against Jerritt Canyon Gold, and controller Eric Sprott. The judge said he was issuing an injunction forbidding the two miners from pursuing their discrimination claims, and to prevent their case from proceeding before the Federal Mine Safety and Health Review Commission. When the miners tried to explain their rights under the Mine Act and the legislative history, they claimed the judge told them “I’m more powerful than Congress.” We will get the transcripts as soon as possible.