January 23, 2014
The Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) has released the investigation report on a June 13, 2013, fatality at a crushed and broken stone mine involving a 49-year-old lead mechanic who was killed after he was ejected from the haul truck he was operating.
MSHA notes that “the haul truck he was driving went out of control, struck a berm, and was propelled into the air. The haul truck came to a stop with the bed overturned and the cab upright. He was ejected from the haul truck.”
According to the investigation report, MSHA identified three root causes of the accident
The first root cause was that “[m]anagement failed to ensure that routine maintenance was performed on the braking systems on the haul truck.”
Following the fatality, operation management implemented the following corrective action: “Management established policies and procedures to ensure that maintenance is performed on haul trucks to keep the equipment in functional condition.”
MSHA noted the second root cause to be that “[t]he victim did not maintain control of the haul truck he was operating.”
The following corrective action was implemented for the second root cause: “Management developed procedures to be followed when a haul truck signals a brake warning to the operator of the haul truck. All supervisors, mobile equipment operators, and mechanics have been trained regarding what procedures to follow when a brake warning occurs on a haul truck.”
MSHA reported that the third root cause was “[m]anagement policies, procedures, and controls did not ensure the victim wore his seat belt when operating the haul truck.”
The following corrective action was implemented for the third root cause: “All truck drivers received additional training regarding the required use of seat belts when operating a haul truck. Management will monitor truck drivers to ensure seat belts are worn.”
MSHA issued and one order and three citations on June 13, 2013, to the operation.
The order was issued under the provisions Section 103(j) of the Mine Act and was later modified to Section 103(j) of the Mine Act. The order was issued “to prevent the destruction of any evidence which would assist in investigating the cause or causes of the accident. It prohibits all activity at Upper Quarry area and Volvo A35 Haul Truck until MSHA has determined that it is safe to resume normal mining operations in this area.”
The first citation was issued for a violation of 30 CFR 56.14101. MSHA notes: “The haul truck went out of control while traveling down a steep grade. The brakes were not maintained in a functional condition. The condition of the brakes has been allowed to deteriorate until a failure occurred in the left front wheel and the brakes on three other wheels were dangerously worn. The haul truck operated on steep grades. The mine operator engaged in aggravated conduct constituting more than ordinary negligence by not ensuring that the brakes on the haul truck were maintained in functional condition. This is an unwarrantable failure to comply with a mandatory standard.”
The second citation was issued for a violation of 30 CFR 56.14131(a). MSHA notes: “The haul truck went out of control while traveling down a steep grade. The victim had buckled the seat belt behind him to silence the seat belt alarm while trouble shooting a brake alarm on the haul truck. He did not refasten the seat belt around him before operating the haul truck..”
The third citation was issued for a violation of 30 CFR 56.9101. MSHA notes: “The mechanic failed to maintain control of the haul truck while traveling down a steep grade.”
To read the full investigation report, click here.