m12On September 8, 2016, a 58-year old Haul Truck Operator with 23 years of experience was killed at a granite mine.  The victim was operating a Caterpillar 773E haul truck and was returning to the pit to be loaded with shot rock. The truck veered from the right side of the haul road to the left and traveled over the berm at the top of the highwall.  The truck landed upside down approximately 150 feet below.  The victim was found outside the haul truck.

Best Practices

  • Always wear a seat belt when operating a haul truck or mobile equipment.
  • Conduct thorough, in depth task training to cover potential hazards.
  • Monitor employees regularly to ensure seat belts are worn when operating mobile equipment.
  • Emphasize that improperly worn seat belts can NOT provide the proper restraint to necessary to protect equipment operators in hazardous situations.
  • Conduct pre-operational checks to identify defects that may affect the safe operation of equipment before being placed into service.
  • Observe all speed limits, traffic rules, and ensure that grades on haulage roads are appropriate for haulage equipment being used. Maintain control and stay alert when operating mobile equipment.
  • Provide and maintain adequate berms and other barriers of mid-axle height.
  • Perform safety inspections that include braking systems and seat belts before operating equipment; promptly remove equipment from service if defects affecting safety are found.

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

m10On July 25, 2016, a 59 year old Excavator Operator, with 17 years of experience, was killed at a limestone quarry.  Prior to the accident, the victim was loading shot rock into haul trucks. While waiting for the haul trucks to return, the victim was separating out over sized rocks when the cab of his excavator was struck by falling material from the highwall.

Best Practices

  • Operate excavators with the cab perpendicular to, and swinging away from, the highwall.
  • Examine highwalls from as many perspectives as possible (bottom, sides, and top/crest) while maintaining the safety of the examiner(s). Look for signs of cracking or other geologic discontinuities.
  • Maintain access to the top of highwalls so that thorough examinations can be conducted.
  • Perform supplemental examinations of highwalls, banks, benches, and sloping terrain in the working area during and following inclement weather.
  • Immediately remove all personnel exposed to hazardous ground conditions, barricade, and/or post signs to prevent entry, and promptly correct unsafe conditions.
  • Use mining methods that ensure highwall stability and safe working conditions.
  • Look, Listen and Evaluate your highwall and pit conditions daily, especially after each rain, freeze, or thaw.
  • Establish and discuss safe work procedures for working near highwalls.  Be your own examiner and find hazards before they find you.

Refer to PIB P10-09 ‘Safety Precautions for Operating Rubber Tired and Track-Mounted Excavators’ for additional information regarding hazards related to operating excavators at surface mines.

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

m03On March 22, 2016, a 42-year old lead man with 6 years of mining experience was fatally injured at a surface limestone mine when he was struck by fly rock from blasting operations. The lead man was parked in his pickup truck at a location to prevent others from accessing the blasting site. He was approximately 1,200 feet from the blast area.

Best Practices

  • Review and follow site specific blast plan prior to loading any explosives.
  • Utilize technology, such as face profilers and borehole probes, to obtain specific geometric details of the material to be blasted.
  • Adjust stemming depth and/or decking to maintain adequate burden on all sections of the blast hole.
  • Develop a drill pattern by considering geology, face geometry, and surface topography.
  • Clear and remove all persons from the blast area unless suitable blasting shelters are provided to protect persons from flyrock. Allow at least 15 seconds after a blast for any flyrock to drop.
  • Examine blast site geology, communicate with the driller and review the drill log for angles, voids, competency of rock, loss of air, etc., prior to the loading any explosives. Make appropriate adjustments to ensure that the holes are not overloaded.
  • Ensure blasting and fly rock areas are properly calculated to ensure the blast site is clear of all persons.
  • Determine the actual burden for all face holes along their length and adjust the explosive power factor along the borehole accordingly.

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

m15On August 3, 2015, an 18-year old truck driver (seasonal associate) with 9 weeks experience was killed at a granite mine. The victim backed his truck under a conveyor belt to be loaded. After exiting the truck, the victim entered a door leading underneath the “sand fines silo.” Soon after entering the silo, the structure collapsed burying the victim beneath the falling material.

Best Practices

  • Routinely examine metal structures for indications of weakened structural soundness (corrosion, fatigue cracks, bent/buckling beams, braces or columns, loose/missing connectors, broken welds, spills of stored solids, etc.).
  • Periodic detailed inspections should be performed which examine hopper and wall thicknesses, critical connections such as the hopper to the wall, and the material flow conditions. Both the inside and outside of the structure should be evaluated.
  • Report any changes in the discharge flow pattern which may be a result of an internal obstruction that causes non-uniform pressures on the silo structure.
  • Report all areas where indications of structural weakness are found.
  • Schedule inspections of the silo’s interior surface only when all material has been removed to determine if it has become polished and worn from use.

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

m25On November 10, 2014, a 45-year old crusher operator with 3 years of experience was seriously injured at a granite mine. The miner was using a torch to cut a drill bit that was wedged in a jaw crusher when the bit freed and struck him. The victim was hospitalized and died on January 17, 2015, as a result of his injuries.

Best Practices

  • Task train miners to identify and control all hazards associated with their work.
  • Establish and discuss policies and procedures for safely clearing a jaw crusher.
  • Implement measures to ensure miners are positioned safely and protected from hazards while performing a task.
  • Consider a mechanical method for clearing material to minimize exposure.
  • Before working on or near equipment, deenergize the power and lock out/tag out.
  • Securely block equipment against hazardous motion to ensure energy cannot be released.
  • Provide a safe means of access for miners required to maintain a jaw crusher.
  • Provide guards, shields, or other devices to protect miners from flying or falling materials at screens, crushers, or conveyors.
  • Install equipment to detect and prevent metal from entering a crusher.

Click here for: MSHA Preliminary Report (pdf)

ftl2013m15On November 7, 2013, a 46-year old equipment operator with 27 years of experience was killed at a granite mine. The victim was operating a haul truck when it veered off the left side of a haul road and traveled through a berm. The haul truck went over an embankment and overturned in a settling pond.

Best Practices

  • Provide and maintain adequate berms or guardrails on the banks of roadways where a drop-off exists.
  • Conduct pre-operational checks to identify and correct any defects that may affect the safe operation prior to operating mobile equipment.
  • Always wear a seat belt when operating self-propelled mobile equipment.
  • Maintain control of self-propelled mobile equipment while it is in motion.
  • Operate mobile equipment at speeds consistent with the conditions of roadways, tracks, grades, clearance, visibility, curves, and traffic.
  • Stay alert while operating mobile equipment.
  • Ensure traffic rules, signals, and warning signs are posted and obeyed.

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

ftl2013m10On August 5, 2013, a 55-year old plant manager with 5 years of experience was killed at a crushed stone operation. The victim looked into an operating crusher and a tooth, that broke free from an excavator bucket, was ejected from the crusher and struck him.

Best Practices

  • Establish and discuss policies and procedures for safely clearing a cone crusher. Consider a mechanical method for clearing material to minimize exposure to persons performing the work.
  • Task train persons to recognize all potential hazardous conditions and to understand safe job procedures for elimination of the hazards before beginning work.
  • Before working on or near equipment, ensure the equipment power is off and locked out/tagged out. Ensure the equipment has been securely blocked against hazardous motion to ensure energy cannot be released while performing work.
  • Always maintain equipment in a safe operating condition.
  • Provide a safe means of access for persons required to maintain a cone crusher.
  • Provide guards, shields, or other devices to protect persons from the hazard of flying or falling materials generated from the operation of screens, crushers, or conveyors.
  • Implement measures to ensure persons are properly positioned and protected from hazards while performing a task.

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

ftl2013m09On June 13, 2013, a 50-year old mechanic with 15 years of experience was killed at a stone operation. He was operating a 35 ton articulated haul truck down a haul road. The truck went out of control and hit a berm, propelling it in the air. The truck came to a stop with the bed overturned and the cab upright. The victim was ejected from the truck.

Best Practices

  • Always wear a seat belt when operating self-propelled mobile equipment.
  • Do not operate mobile equipment with reported brake problems. Use other means to move the mobile equipment to a safe area for inspection and repair.
  • Ensure that mobile equipment operators are task trained adequately in all phases of mobile equipment operation, including the mobile equipment’s capabilities, operating ranges, load-limits and safety features, before operating mobile equipment.
  • Maintain equipment steering and braking systems in good repair and adjustment. Always follow the manufacturer’s service and maintenance schedules.
  • Never rely on engine brakes and transmission retarders as substitutes for keeping brakes properly maintained.
  • Conduct adequate pre-operational checks to ensure the service brakes will stop and hold the mobile equipment prior to operating.
  • Operators of self-propelled mobile equipment shall maintain control of the equipment while it is in motion.
  • Operating speeds shall be consistent with conditions of roadways, tracks, grades, clearance, visibility, curves, and traffic.
  • Do not attempt to exit or jump from moving mobile equipment.

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

On December 15, 2011, a 22 year-old laborer with 3 months of experience was killed at a surface stone operation. The victim, who was last seen on a control tower, fell into an operating jaw crusher.

Best Practices
 

  • Always use fall protection when working where a fall hazard exists.
  • Establish policies and procedures for safely clearing plugged material in a jaw crusher.
  • Ensure that persons are task trained and understand the hazards associated with the work being performed.
  • Deenergize and Lock-out/tag-out all power sources before working on crushers.
  • Do not place yourself in a position that will expose you to hazards.
  • Monitor personnel routinely to determine that safe work procedures are followed.
Click here for: MSHA Preliminary Report (pdf), MSHA Investigation Report (pdf), Overview (powerpoint), Overview (pdf).

On December 8, 2011, a 41 year-old crusher operator with 8 years of experience was killed at a surface stone operation. A set of wheels was to be placed on a conveyor to transport it from the mine. A front-end loader was being used to lift the conveyor when the loader bucket suddenly dropped, allowing the frame of the conveyor to strike one of the tire assemblies. The tire assembly then shifted, striking the victim.

Best Practices

  • Inspect mobile equipment before placing it in operation for the shift.
  • Correct safety defects on equipment in a timely manner to prevent the creation of a hazard to persons.
  • Establish safe work procedures and identify and remove hazards before beginning a task.
  • Ensure that persons are task-trained and understand the hazards associated with the work being performed.
  • Do not place yourself in a position that will expose you to hazards while performing a task.
  • Monitor personnel routinely to determine that safe work procedures are followed.
Click here for: MSHA Preliminary Report (pdf), MSHA Investigation Report(pdf), Overview(powerpoint), Overview (pdf).