MSHA Alert: Unintended boom movement

Therese Dunphy

February 12, 2013

The Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) released an alert about sudden unintended movements found with several Caterpillar 988G/H model front-end loaders. The condition was first discovered during the investigation of a recent metal/non-metal fatality.

When tested cold, the loader would operate abnormally. When raising loader arms, the arms would continue to rise after the lift control was released. When the operator tried to feather the arms down, the bucket would drop several feet.

Caterpillar has developed new machine warm-up procedures to address the problem. Operators should contact their local dealer for more information.

Until a remedy is determined, MSHA suggests the following administrative controls:

  • Ensure the hydraulic fluid is warm per Cat’s Operating Manual.
  • Ensure that the operation of the bucket is checked before the machine is put into production work.
  • Ensure all personnel are clear of the machine when it is operating.
  • Truck operators must remain in the truck cab or a safe distance away while being loaded.
  • If any machine, equipment, or tool does not function as designed, immediately remove it from service and contact the manufacturer.
  • Ensure equipment operators are fully trained, including all procedures, for the equipment they operate.
  • Always use machinery, equipment, and tools within the design capacity intended by the manufacturer.

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