On October 31, 2011, a 42 year-old muck haul leadman with 3½ years of experience was killed in an underground platinum mine. The victim was operating a 4-yard loader in a drift when the loader struck the left rib. At that time, a spieling (rebar anchored in the rib for ground control) that was protruding from the rib, penetrated the front side window, entered the cab, and struck him.

Best Practices

  •  Operators of self-propelled mobile equipment shall maintain control of the equipment while it is in motion.
  • Maintain all roadways free of materials that may pose a hazard to equipment operators. This includes materials on the floor and protruding from the ribs, back, or walls.
  • Operating speeds shall be consistent with conditions of roadways, tracks, grades, clearance, visibility, curves, and traffic.
  • Slow down or drop to a lower gear when necessary. Post areas where lower speeds are warranted.
  • Always wear a seat belt when operating self-propelled mobile equipment.
  • Trim protruding spielings.
  • Keep mobile equipment operator’s stations free of materials that can impair the safe operation of the equipment.
  • When clearances on roadways are restricted, install warning devices in advance of the area and conspicuously mark it.
Click here for: MSHA Preliminary Report (pdf), MSHA Investigation Report(pdf), Overview(powerpoint), Overview (pdf).