Fatal Accident at Hercules Cement Plant

A contract employee was killed in an accident at the Hercules Cement plant in Stockertown, Pa., on July 26.

The employee, who was not wearing fall protection, was performing maintenance on a cement cooler when a wooden board broke, causing him to fall 23 ft. onto a concrete floor, reported the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA).

This is the 20th fatality reported in 2021, and the second classified as “Slip or Fall of Person.”

MSHA recommends the following best practices to avoid a similar accident:

  • Assure a safe means of access is provided and maintained to all working places. Use personnel lifts or ladders to access elevated work areas safely.
  • Use fall protection when a fall hazard exists. Ensure fall protection has a suitable fall arrest and secure anchorage system.
  • Examine work areas, tools, and equipment. Report and correct defects. Do not use unsafe equipment.
  • Assess risks and eliminate or control hazards before beginning maintenance activities. Do not place yourself in a position that will expose you to hazards while performing a task.
  • Train miners and ensure they perform work safely, use tools properly, and utilize personal protective equipment correctly.

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