Man dies in operating jaw crusher, MSHA reports

Tina Grady Barbaccia

July 1, 2012

Wesley J. Sherwood Jr., crusher feed controller, age 22, was killed on Dec.15, 2011, when he fell into an operating jaw crusher, according to a report from the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA). Sherwood was last seen standing on the viewing platform. He apparently climbed over the railing of the platform to access the vibratory feeder to clear jammed material close to the opening of the crushing chamber.

The accident occurred due to management’s failure to establish policies and procedures ensuring the safety of persons working near the jaw crusher, according to MSHA. The jaw crusher was not de-energized, locked and tagged out, and blocked against motion prior to persons performing work around the feed opening. Procedures were not established to ensure that persons could safely access the feeder from the viewing platform or ground level. To access the feeder, Sherwood had to climb out from the protective railing system, onto the provided platform, and cross the jaw feed opening to reach the feeder deck. Additionally, Sherwood had only 14 weeks of experience and did not receive training in accordance with 30 CFR Part 46.

Damascus 535 Crushing is a portable crushing plant owned and operated by Damascus 535 Crushing located in Lanesboro, Susquehanna County, Pa. Thomas J. Bolles, Licensed Blaster, and Timothy M. Smith, CEO, are the principal operating officials. The crushing plant normally operates one 10-hour shift, five days a week. Total mine employment is 20 persons.

At the time of the accident, the portable crushing plant was operating at the Lanesboro Quarry, owned and operated by B.S. Quarries, Inc. Material is drilled and blasted from a multiple-bench quarry and stockpiled adjacent to the crushing plant. The material is sorted and fed into the plant by a front-end loader and crushed and screened. Finished products are sold as construction aggregate.

The last regular inspection at this operation was completed on Oct. 19, 2011.

(Source: Mine Safety and Health Administration [MSHA] )

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