MSHA reports recent fatalities

MSHA reported that on June 22, a contract bulldozer operator at Vulcan Materials’ Chula Vista, Calif., quarry died when the bulldozer he was operating backed off the edge of a highwall. The operator was clearing the bench in preparation for drilling and blasting and had removed the berms along the edge.

This is the 24th fatality reported in 2023, and the 10th classified as Machinery.

MSHA recommends the following best practices to avoid this type of accident:

  • Install berms, signs or devices to identify the edge of benches.
  • Perform workplace examinations and correct hazardous conditions before beginning work and as ground conditions warrant. 
  • Train equipment operators to identify dangerous conditions and to keep the bulldozer blade between them and the edge near drop-offs.

In late June, the agency also reported overviews of the 21st and 20th deaths in mining this year.

On May 22, a miner died at RiverStone Group’s Ralls County, Mo., operation when the haul truck he was operating overturned, when the edge of the bank at a dump point gave way. The haul truck landed on the roof of the cab.

This is the 20th fatality reported in 2023, and the fifth classified as Powered Haulage.

MSHA recommends the following best practices to avoid this type of accident:

  • Conduct workplace and ground condition examinations before work begins in an area.
  • Dump material from a safe location and push the material over the edge with a bulldozer.
  • Ensure dump locations on unconsolidated material are properly designed, constructed and maintained.
  • Construct substantial berms as a visual indicator to prevent overtravel. Clearly mark dump locations with reflectors and/ or markers.
  • Never load material from the toe of a stockpile that is directly below an active dump point. This may lead to an over steepened and unstable slope.
  • Wear a seatbelt. Install advanced systems that restrain miners during roll-overs.

MSHA also reported that on June 1, a customer truck driver at Summit Materials’ Hockley Plant, Harris County, Texas, died when he was struck by a component of his truck’s air bag height/ride suspension system while performing maintenance.

This is the 21st fatality reported in 2023, and the seventh classified by MSHA under Machinery.

MSHA recommends the following best practices to avoid this type of accident:

  • Follow manufacturer’s recommended procedures when
    performing maintenance on suspension system components.
  • Release all stored energy from components before beginning maintenance.
  • Position yourself in a safe location while pressurizing systems.
  • Train miners in safe work procedures and hazard recognition. Monitor personnel routinely to ensure they follow safe work procedures.

Related posts