MSHA Issues Surface Mining Blasting Alert

On December 11, 2017, miners were preparing for a shot at a basalt mine. The miners were positioned about 130 yards from the face. One miner was standing between a pickup truck and an excavator; the other two were under the excavator. The shot detonated prematurely, without warning. The miners were struck with debris from the blast which resulted in injuries.

Best Practices:
• Consider mine specific conditions and rock strata when designing blasts to prevent fly rock.
• Closely follow mine policies and procedures through all phases of the blasting operation.
• Schedule blasting between shifts or on off-shifts.
• Utilize suitable blast shelters for all persons at the mine site during blasting.
• Use restricted areas for non-enclosed blasting operations.
• Keep coworkers away from the blaster.
• Always consider past ‘Fly Rock’ when determining your Blast Area and your Blast Area should as a
minimum be 1 ½ times the furthest distance that any previous Fly Rock.

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