June 7, 2013
The Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) has released the investigation report on a January 21, 2013, fatality at a surface lime operation involving a 54-year-old maintenance leadman who was killed when he was caught on a pinch point while attempting to repair a leaking hydraulic cylinder that activated a pusher arm on the kiln.
According to the investigation report, the root cause of the accident was that “[m]anagement did not ensure that the mine had appropriate established safe work procedures and that miners were trained in the procedures and the procedures were followed during maintenance activities on the Kiln #2 preheater, ram #4 unit. The energy source was not deenergized and the ram was not blocked against hazardous motion.”
Following the fatality, operation management implemented the following corrective action: “Management revised the lockout, tag out, and blocking procedures and established policies to ensure that safe work procedures are followed when maintenance work is performed. Persons performing the task were trained in the new procedures and policies. Management will monitor maintenance work to ensure the procedures are being followed.”
MSHA issued a citation to the operation under the provisions of Section 104(a) of the Mine Act for a violation of 30 CFR 56.14105, which requires “[r]epairs or maintenance of machinery or equipment shall be performed only after the power is off, and the machinery or equipment blocked against hazardous motion. Machinery or equipment motion or activation is permitted to the extent that adjustments or testing cannot be performed without motion or activation, provided that persons are effectively protected from hazardous motion.”
To read the full investigation report, click here.