Fatality Alert: Haul truck crosses berm into icy pond

Kerry Clines

February 7, 2018

The Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) issued a Fatality Alert after a haul truck driver at Hallett Materials in Iowa drowned in an icy pond. On January 25, 2018, an articulated haul truck traveled through a berm and into an ice covered pond, submerging the truck’s cab in the icy water. Rescue divers and tow trucks were required to pull the submerged truck from the pond and recover the victim.

submerged volvo

MSHA offers the following Best Practices to help prevent this type of accident:

  • Do not operate heavy equipment when fatigued. The effects of fatigue include tiredness, reduced energy, and physical or mental exhaustion. These conditions become progressively worse as fatigue increases.
  • Maintain control and stay alert when operating mobile equipment. Monitor persons routinely to determine safe work procedures are followed.
  • Conduct adequate pre-operational checks and correct any defects affecting safety in a timely manner prior to operating mobile equipment. Maintain equipment braking and steering systems in good repair and adjustment. 

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  • Operate mobile equipment at speeds consistent with the conditions of roadways, tracks, grades, clearance, visibility, curves, and traffic.
  • Ensure that berms are adequate for the vehicles present on site, including but not limited to height, material, and built on firm ground.
  • Ensure that all exits from cabs on mobile equipment, including alternate and emergency exits, are maintained and operable.
  • Use seat belts when operating mobile equipment.

This is the 1st metal/non-metal mining fatality of 2018.

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