In early October, the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) reported that on Sept. 21, a 68-year-old contract truck driver with 20 years of experience was fatally injured at Bonito Pit in Valencia County, N.M., while operating a haul truck.
The victim was found lying in front of his truck near the edge of a haul road. The truck was upright and in the opposite direction of the expected route of travel.
This was the 27th fatality reported in 2021, and the 12th classified by the agency as Powered Haulage.
MSHA recommended the following best practices to avoid this type of accident:
- Establish a site traffic plan to include traffic routes, speed limits, and access points. Train miners to follow all traffic controls.
- Conduct pre-operational examinations to identify and repair defects that may affect the safe operation of equipment before placing equipment into service.
- Operate mobile equipment at speeds consistent with conditions of roadways, grades, curves, and traffic.
- Maintain control while operating mobile equipment. Never exceed a vehicle’s design capabilities, operating ranges, load limits, and safety features.
- Always wear a seat belt when operating mobile equipment.
- Never exit a moving vehicle. Remain in the seat with your seat belt secured.