Mine fatality when truck rolls from highwall

On June 27, 2016, a 61-year old mine superintendent, with 24 years of experience, was killed at a limestone quarry in Arkansas.

Mine fatality when truck rolls from highwall
The victim was building a ramp to the lower bench, was positioning his haul truck to dump a load of material near the edge of a highwall, and rolled backwards over the 90 foot highwall

The MSHA reports and advises best practice to help avoid such accidents.

The victim was building a ramp to the lower bench, was positioning his haul truck to dump a load of material near the edge of a highwall, and rolled backwards over the 90 foot highwall.

Best Practices

  • Utilize ground control methods, such as berms and dumping short to maintain distance from a drop off
  • Maintain equipment braking and steering systems in good repair and adjustment
  • Maintain control of self-propelled mobile equipment while it is in motion
  • Establish and discuss safe work procedures before beginning work.  Routinely monitor work habits and examine work areas to ensure that safe work procedures are followed
  • Identify and control all hazards associated with the work to be performed
  • Ensure that the mining practice creates grades at the top of highwalls that slope down away from the edge
  • Follow the manufacturer’s recommended brake performance test procedures especially after brake maintenance is performed.  Where no manufacturer test procedures are available, develop mine-specific brake performance test procedures
  • Train all truck drivers to maintain the truck perpendicular to the edge when backing up at a dump site.  Slope the dump area so that trucks must back up a slight grade
  • Get out of your equipment and inspect the work area before performing your job.

This is the 9th fatal reported in calendar year 2016 in metal and nonmetal mining. As of this date in 2015, there were 9 fatalities reported in metal and nonmetal mining. This is the 2nd fatality classified as power haulage in 2016.

There were two power haulage accident classification fatalities in the same period in 2015.

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