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Crusher part fatally strikes mine worker

Crusher lifting lug
Crusher lifting lug

Mineral processing equipment detached and killed a resources employee.

Authorities recently investigated how a steel lifting lug became loose and fatally came into contact with a maintenance worker at Holcim–NER’s Swampscott operation.

Investigators found the lug detached while a Hallamore crane lifted the narrow arm guard despite already being welded onto the crusher’s narrow arm guard at about 1pm on 17 July 2023.

“While the arm guard was lifted by the crane, shift foreman John Kontarasis kneeled to clean dirt and debris from under the arm guard. At this time the welded connection of the lifting lug attached to the top of the narrow arm guard failed and the lug flew upward and struck Christopher Perry [on a temporary work platform],” the official report said.

“The force applied by the crane to the rigging was much greater than the weight of the arm guard and rigging … [and] this caused the arm guard to move and become hung up, allowing the load magnitude to rapidly increase beyond the strength of the weld.”

Chief medical examiner Madeline Moore pronounced Perry deceased at the medical examiner’s office.

“The accident occurred because the mine operator did not ensure the miner was clear of a suspended load,” the report concluded.

“The mine operator developed and implemented a new written procedure for working around suspended loads and trained all miners in the new procedure and on the dangers of working near suspended loads.”

Click here to read the full report.

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