The Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) has issued a report for the 7th fatality of 2018 which took place at Susag Sand & Gravel’s Mack Pit in Orrin, North Dakota. Troy E. Schimke, a 62 year old supervisor, was killed when a front end loader bucket struck him while positioning a 20-foot-long steel tube on a screen feed conveyor.
The report says: “The accident occurred because management did not have policies, procedures, and controls in place to ensure the use of tag lines while moving suspended loads and to ensure persons did not work under the raised buckets of loaders.”
On 31 July, miner Robert Teets raised the loader to place the steel tube onto the JCI screen feed conveyor. Schimke moved beneath the bucket and tried to guide the steel tube into place along the inclined belt. Teets lowered the bucket of the loader to place the tube on the conveyor and then raised it again when he saw Schimke fall.
Teets shut off and exited the loader and climbed up to the platform. He realised he had struck Schimke with the bucket loader and called 911. The emergency services arrived, performed an electrocardiogram and found no vital signs. Schimke was pronounced dead at the scene.
The MSHA carried out a physical examination of the accident, interviewed miners and reviewed conditions and work procedures. Mine management, miners, and the Pierce County Sheriff’s Office aided the investigation.
Root Cause: Management did not have policies, procedures and controls to prevent miners from working under suspended loads.
Corrective Action: The company has developed policies, procedures and new training materials to prevent miners from working under raised equipment buckets. The workforce at the mine was retrained using the new policies, procedures and training materials, with an additional focus on not working under suspended loads.
Root Cause: Management did not have policies, procedures and controls to require miners use taglines to control suspended loads.
Corrective Action: The company developed policies, procedures and new training materials to use taglines to control suspended loads. The workforce at the mine was retrained using the new policies, procedures and training materials, with additional emphasis on not working under suspended loads.