January 17, 2014
The Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) has released the investigation report on a September 16, 2013, fatality at a crushed and broken limestone operation involving a 58-year-old truck driver who was killed after the truck he was operating went over a highwall.
According to the investigation report, the root cause of the accident was that “[m]anagement did not ensure that sufficient berms were provided and maintained where a drop-off existed along the haul road.”
Following the fatality, operation management implemented the following corrective action: “Sufficient berms were provided along the haul road where a drop-off existed.”
MSHA also noted a second root cause to be that “[m]anagement did not ensure that the victim wore the seat belt provided in the haul trucks.”
The following corrective action was implemented for the second root cause: “All haul truck operators were retrained regarding the importance of wearing the provided seat belt while operating mobile equipment.”
MSHA issued and order and three citations on September 18, 2013, to the operation.
The order was issued under the provisions Section 103(j) of the Mine Act and was modified to Section 103(k) of the Mine Act. The order was issued “to ensure the safety of all persons at this operation. It prohibits all activity in the east pit until MSHA has determined that it is safe to resume normal mining practices. The mine operator shall obtain prior approval from an authorized representative for all action to recover and restore operations to the affected area.”
The first citation was issued under the provisions of Section 104(a) of the Mine Act for a violation of 30 CFR 56.9101. MSHA notes that “a loaded haul truck traveled through a berm (boulders) and over the highwall. The operator of the haul truck did not maintain control of the equipment while it was in motion.”
The second citation was issued under the provisions of Section 104(a) of the Mine Act for a violation of 30 CFR 56.14131(a). MSHA notes: “The operator of the haul truck was not wearing the seat belt provided in the haul truck.”
The third citation was issued under provisions of Section 104(a) of the Mine Act for a violation of 30 CFR 56.9300(a). MSHA notes: “Berms may have openings to the extent necessary for roadway drainage. However the berm in the vicinity of the accident consisted of boulders that were approximately 10 feet long and had openings of 4-5 feet between boulders, which openings were greater than the extent necessary for roadway drainage.”
To read the full investigation report, click here.