MSHA safety alert – seat belt save

MSHA has issued a safety alert following an accident at a surface crushed and broken limestone quarry.

MSHA pic 1
The ground beneath the rear wheels of the truck collapsed causing the truck to go over the highwall and slide down the embankment

On September 19, 2016, during a period of heavy rainfall, the victim was operating an articulating haul truck to transport overburden to a reclamation dump site at the top level of the pit.

After he backed the haul truck to the berm at the dumpsite and dumped the load, the ground beneath the rear wheels of the truck collapsed causing the truck to go over the highwall and slide down the steep embankment.

The truck slid backwards for approximately 120 feet before stopping on an elevated outcrop.  When the truck came to an abrupt stop, the truck bed overturned but the cab stayed upright.

The victim who was wearing his seatbelt was injured and remained in the cab until rescuers arrived.  Since there was no access to the bench on which the truck had landed, rescuers had to repel down the embankment and retrieve the victim from the cab.

Best practices

    • Examine dumping locations for stability prior to dumping the first load and as ground conditions warrant during the work shift
MSHA pic 2
There was no access to the bench on which the truck had landed so rescuers had to repel down the embankment to get to the driver
  • Where trucks are loaded and ground conditions may fail to support the weight of the truck, dump loads a safe distance back from the edge
  • Provide training to all dump-point workers on recognizing dump-point hazards, taking appropriate corrective measures, and using safe dumping procedures
  • Monitor persons routinely to determine safe work procedures are followed
  • Always wear a seat belt when operating self-propelled mobile equipment
  • Maintain berms or similar impeding devices at dumping locations where there is a hazard of overtravel or overturning.  Slope the dump area so that trucks must back up a slight grade.
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