The Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) issued a Fatality Alert after a pickup truck was struck by a loader at Heidelberg Cement‘s Permanente Cement Plant & Quarry in California. On December 30, 2017, an employee in a pickup truck approached the quarry loadout area to pick up the Front End Loader (FEL) operator for lunch. The FEL backed into the pickup, pushing it sideways and crushing the driver’s side of the pickup cab, trapping the victim inside the truck. The pickup caught fire and the FEL operator and a nearby contractor were unable to put out the fire using fire extinguishers.
offers the following Best Practices to help prevent this type of accident:
- When approaching large mobile equipment, do not proceed until you communicate and verify with the equipment operator your planned movement and location. Provide radio communication systems between vehicles and large mobile equipment.
- Ensure all persons are trained to recognize workplace hazards — specifically, the limited visibility and blind areas inherent to operation of large equipment and the hazard of mobile equipment traveling near them.
- Ensure, by signal or other means, that all persons are clear before moving equipment.
- Minimize situations where smaller vehicles need to approach large front end loaders.
- Do not drive or park smaller vehicles in mobile equipment’s potential path of movement.
- Equip smaller vehicles with flags or strobe lights positioned high enough to be seen from the cabs of haulage trucks.
- Install and maintain proximity detection or collision avoidance/warning systems and cameras.
This was the 13th metal/non-metal mining fatality and the 6th powered haulage fatality of 2017.