On September 20, 2017, a contractor was fatally injured while rappelling within a conditioning tower.  The victim was examining the inside of a 300’ vertical conditioning tower when an object fell from above and struck him in the head. The victim was conscious and transported to a local hospital where he died of his injuries the next day.

Best Practices

  • Remove all loose materials and other hazards before working.
  • Have fall protection and available and ready for use.
  • Check bin atmosphere for oxygen content, combustible gases, and toxic contaminants.
  • Provide adequate lighting.
  • Be sure the person entering the bin is trained in safe entry and confined space procedures.
  • Have standby personnel available to observe and to assist in an emergency.

Click here for: MSHA Preliminary Report (pdf)

m11On August 9, 2016, a 33 year old Leadman Contractor, with 4 years of experience, was killed at a cement plant loadout.  The victim was attempting to replace the lift cable pulleys on the barge loadout chute, when the anchor point for the temporary rigging separated from the loadout chute and it unexpectedly fell. The falling loadout chute caused the lift cables to tighten and the lift cables pinned the victim to the loadout chute causing fatal injuries.

Best Practices

  • Establish and discuss safe work procedures before beginning work. Identify and control all hazards associated with the work to be performed and the methods to properly protect persons.  Consult and follow the manufacturer’s recommended safe work procedures for the maintenance task.
  • Task train all persons to recognize all potential hazardous conditions and to understand safe job procedures for elimination of the hazards before beginning work.
  • Examine work areas during the shift for hazards that may be created as a result of the work being performed.  Monitor persons routinely to determine safe work procedures are followed.
  • Conduct a complete pre-operational inspection of equipment that includes checking winches and cables.
  • Position yourself in areas where you will not be exposed to hazards resulting from a sudden release of energy.  Be aware of your location in relation to machine parts that can move.

Click here for: MSHA Preliminary Report (pdf), MSHA Investigation Report (pdf), Overview (pdf).

m06On May 10, 2016, a 46-year old maintenance man with 6 years of experience was fatally injured at a cement plant. The victim went to the top of the slurry tank to start the rake system. He fell 50 feet through a 3-foot by 4-foot opening in the walkway into the empty slurry tank below.

Best Practices

  • Protect openings near travelways by installing railings, barriers, or covers.
  • Ensure covers or railings protecting temporary access openings are secured in place at all times when an opening is not being used.
  • Provide readily visible warning signs that clearly display the nature of the hazard and any protective action required.
  • Wear fall protection where there is a danger of falling.
  • Establish and discuss safe work procedures. Identify and control all hazards to finish the job safely.
  • Train all persons, especially workplace examiners, to recognize and understand safe job procedures before beginning work. Communicate and correct hazards in a timely manner.

Click here for: MSHA Preliminary Report (pdf), MSHA Investigation Report (pdf), Overview (pdf).

m16On December 15, 2015, a 75-year old tow truck laborer was killed at a cement plant.  As the tow truck operator was lowering the truck’s boom it struck the victim. The victim suffered a severe head wound but was conscious when transported to a local hospital but later died of his injuries.

Best Practices

  • Position yourself only in areas where you will not be exposed to hazards resulting from a sudden release of energy.  Be aware of your location in relation to machine parts that can move.
  • Establish communications between equipment operators and machine helpers.  Make sure those around you know your intentions.
  • Positively block machine parts (including hydraulic boom lifts) and suspended loads from motion prior to entering areas underneath them.
  • Ensure that persons are properly task trained regarding safe operating procedures before allowing them to operate mobile equipment and monitor work to ensure procedures are followed.
  • Ensure that all operating systems and safety features on mobile equipment are maintained and functional at all times.
  • Operate all machinery in accordance with manufacturers operating guidelines.
  • Wear all appropriate personal protective equipment.

Click here for: MSHA Preliminary Report (pdf), MSHA Investigation Report (pdf), Overview (pdf).

 

m26On June 17, 2014, Ronald Dwayne Dunn, Customer Truck Driver, age 41, parked his bulk tanker truck at a tanker top access platform, went to the top of the platform, and opened the bulk hatch on the trailer in preparation to get loaded with cement.  Another driver noticed the victim was not on top of the truck.  The driver found that the victim was inside the tank of the truck but could not get him out and called for help.  A responder team arrived and found the victim unresponsive.  He was transported to a hospital where he was pronounced dead.

On September 3, 2014, the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) referred the accident to the Chargeability Review Committee.  On February 2, 2015, the Chargeability Review Committee determined that this death should be charged to the mining industry.  The autopsy report indicated that the manner of death was accidental and that the cause of death was asthma exacerbated by environmental dust exposure. The toxicology screen detected levels of theophylline, the active ingredient in the asthma inhaler.  It appears Dunn may have accidentally dropped his asthma inhaler into the tank, proceeded to climb into the tank to retrieve it, and was unable to get out.

[SafeMiners.com note: We’re posting these much later, catching up from late notice and even later pictures from MSHA for the reasons noted above.]

Click here for: MSHA Preliminary Report (pdf), MSHA Investigation Report (pdf)

m20aOn October 10, 2014, a 66-year-old contract truck driver with approximately 11 years of experience was killed at a cement operation.  The driver was inside a loading rack closing the hatch on top of a bulk tanker truck.  When the victim raised the rack to access the hatch, he fell between the rack and rounded side of the truck and then fell to the ground.

Best Practices

  • Establish traffic patterns to ensure safe alignment of vehicles with access equipment.
  • Identify and control all hazards associated with the work to be performed and use methods to properly protect persons.
  • Ensure that persons are trained, including task-training, to address the hazards associated with the work being performed.
  • Always use fall protection when working where a fall hazard exists.
  • Always be aware of your surroundings and any hazards that may be present.

Click here for: MSHA Preliminary Report (pdf)

ftl2014m16On July 23, 2014, a 51-year-old contract truck driver with 30 years of experience was killed at a cement operation while delivering a load of fly ash. The victim exited the truck to remove the tarp. A front-end loader backed down a ramp and struck the victim, pinning him against the truck.

Best Practices

  • Task train all persons to stay clear of mobile equipment.
  • Be aware of the location and traffic patterns of mobile equipment in your work area.
  • Before moving mobile equipment, look in the direction of travel and use all mirrors and cameras to ensure no persons are in the intended path.
  • Sound the horn to warn persons of intended movement and give them time to move to a safe location.
  • Operate mobile equipment at reduced speeds in work areas.
  • Ensure that backup alarms and lights on mobile equipment are maintained and operational.
  • Remain in your truck when mobile equipment is being operated nearby.
  • Communicate with mobile equipment operators and ensure they acknowledge your presence.  Stay in the line of sight with mobile equipment operators.  Never assume the equipment operator sees you.
  • Before operating equipment, always ensure other persons are clear and safely positioned.

Click here for: MSHA Preliminary Report (pdf)

ftl2014m02

On February 21, 2014, a 34-year old contract laborer with 6 months of experience was killed at a cement operation when attempting to access an elevator in the finish mill. When the victim opened the elevator door on the fourth floor landing, he stepped into the elevator shaft and fell approximately 51 feet to the top of the elevator car located on the ground floor.

Best Practices

  • Immediately report any elevator problems to management.
  • Ensure that any problems affecting the safety of an elevator are repaired promptly.
  • Ensure that elevator door interlocks, that prevent the door from being opened unless the elevator car is present, are functional.
  • Ensure that elevator doors will not open unless an elevator car is at the floor landing.
  • Install audible signals that sound when the elevator car is at the landing prior to the doors opening.
  • Train all persons to be aware of their surroundings when entering or exiting an elevator car.

Click here for: MSHA Preliminary Report (pdf), MSHA Investigation Report (pdf), Overview (powerpoint), Overview (pdf).

ftl2013m14On October 17, 2013, a 52-year old electrician with 5 years of experience was injured at a cement operation. The victim was standing on a step ladder, pulling cable in a cable tray. The mounting bracket for the tray broke loose from the wall and the tray struck the step ladder. The victim fell 5 feet from the ladder, striking his head on the concrete floor. The victim was transported to a hospital where he died on October 19, 2013.

Best Practices
 

  • Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations when installing a cable tray on a supporting structure.
  • Ensure that the correct anchors are used and that the supporting structures are adequate when installing a cable tray.
  • Always be aware of your surroundings and any hazards that may be present.
  • Properly position ladders used to reach elevated areas.

Click here for: MSHA Preliminary Report (pdf), MSHA Investigation Report (pdf), Overview (powerpoint), Overview (pdf).

On August 17, 2012, a 58-year old equipment operator with 19 years of experience was killed at a cement operation. The victim was working on the roof of a 189-foot tall silo when the roof collapsed. Rescuers responded immediately and recovered the victim on September 4, 2012.

Best Practices
 

  • Routinely inspect the entire silo including walls, top, hopper(s), feeders, conveying equipment, liner, roof vents, etc. Look for structural damage, exposed rebar, stress cracks, corrosion, concrete spalling/cracking, signs of overfilling, top lifts, dust spills from seams during loading, damage to climbing devices, etc. The structure should be inspected by a professional engineer knowledgeable in silo design and construction.
  • Ensure a competent person conducts examinations to identify hazards.
  • If damage is discovered, prohibit use of and access on the silo and in the surrounding area until repairs are complete and/or a registered professional engineer has declared it structurally safe to use.
  • Modifications or equipment additions to a silo should be under the direction of a professional engineer.
  • Ensure process controls and dust collector baghouses are in working order to prevent overpressure, overfilling, or excessive vacuum. Dust leaving a silo may indicate structural damage or equipment malfunction.
  • Ensure aeration systems and other means of enhancing hopper flow are in working order so asymmetric flow patterns do not develop within the silo and damage the walls, hopper, and roof.
  • Provide silo level probes/weight measuring technology for /equipment to monitor silo material filling and discharge in the silo and keep it in working order.

Click here for: MSHA Preliminary Report (pdf), MSHA Investigation Report (pdf), Overview (powerpoint), Overview (pdf).