Rock Products

AUG 2017

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Page 92 of 131 ROCK products • August 2017 • 91 Aggregates Industry Almanac MSHA Report fatality such as this one: •  Place the transmission in park and set the park brake before exiting vehicle. •  Do not depend on hydraulic systems to hold mobile equip- ment in a stationary position. •  Always chock the wheels when parking vehicles on a grade. •  Never place yourself in front of an unsecured piece of mobile equipment. Fatality #4 Powe re d H a u l a g e - I l l i n o i s - C r u s h e d , B ro ke n Limestone NEC Hastie Mining - Hastie Mine MSHA reported that on June 8, 2017, a truck driver was oper- ating a Caterpillar 777F haul truck, dumping a load of gravel, when the ground at the dump point collapsed. The truck went over the edge of the dump point, overturn- ing and landing on its roof approximately 30 ft. below. The victim was transported to the hospital, where he later died of his injuries. This was the fourth fatality reported in calendar year 2017 in metal and nonmetal mining. As of that date in 2016, there were eight fatalities reported in metal and nonmetal mining. This was the first Powered Haulage fatality in 2017. There was one Powered Haulage fatal in the same period in 2016. MSHA recommends the following best practices to avoid a fatality such as this one: •  Ensure seat belts are provided, maintained and worn at all times when equipment is in operation. •  Incorporate engineering controls that require seat belts to be properly fastened before equipment can be put into motion. •  Visually inspect dumping locations prior to beginning work and as changing conditions change. •  While loading out stockpiles, do not excavate the toe of the slopes below dumping points and travelways. •  Utilize a bulldozer with the "dump-short, push-over" method of stockpiling material. Provide and maintain ade- quate berms on the banks of roadways and at dumping points where a drop-off exists. • Train miners to recognize and avoid dumping point haz- ards and to understand the hazards associated with the work being performed. Fatality#5 Electrical - Oregon - Misc. Nonmetallic Mnls. NEC EP Management Corporation - Celatom Plant MSHA was reporting a fifth fatality had occurred on July 14, however details were not available at press time. MSHA has stated that a common thread among fatalities this year is miners working alone. Brian Hendrix, a member of Husch Blackwell's Energy & Natural Resources group, ana- lyzed MSHA's response to that: MSHA used its Quarterly Stakeholder Call in May to announce the launch of a "Working Alone Initiative." MSHA intends to "engage miners and mine operators in 'walk and talks'" to "emphasize accounting for all workers at all times and pro- viding operators with best practices for working alone." As such, MSHA's initiative will include "both training and enforcement components." What prompted this initiative? According to MSHA, in 2017 "five miners have died in accidents that occurred when they were working alone on mine property." Three of the five were Metal/Non-Metal (M/NM) fatalities, and I'll focus on those three here. From the information MSHA has shared, I don't doubt that the three M/NM fatalities occurred when the miners were alone on mine property. However, near as I can tell, MSHA's working alone standard has virtually nothing to do with those fatalities. •  One involved a miner who wasn't working when he was killed. He was alone, but he wasn't working. Per MSHA, "the miner was found [under a rib failure] in an abandoned sec- tion of the mine beyond a barricade berm, along the top of a 20-ft. high, waste material spoil pile." The area "had been barricaded to prevent entry due to bad roof and rib conditions." The miner apparently entered this area for purposes other than work. He was not assigned to work in the area, there was no work to be done there and his employer specifically prohibited anyone from entering the area. It seems likely that the miner did not want anyone to know where he was or what he was doing. After more than 200 man-hours, MSHA has closed its investigation without taking any enforcement action. •  The second fatality occurred when a truck driver "walked behind the end-dump trailer while it was being raised and was engulfed by the sand as it came out in the excess dumping area. The truck had been loaded with 27.5 tons of concrete sand." The truck driver had more than 13 years of experience. I'd be surprised if the truck wasn't equipped with a radio, and I'd bet the driver also had a cell phone. In any case, he was engaged in a common task that is almost always performed by one person. So far, MSHA has devoted more than 165 man- hours to its investigation of this accident. • The third fatality occurred at a small surface sand and gravel mine, which had been operating intermittently since 2016. It employs seven miners. The accident took place on a Friday night, around 8:30 p.m. The last miner to leave the property stopped to turn off a diesel gen- erator as he was leaving the property in his personal truck. He left the truck running, in 6 th gear. He didn't chock the wheels. As he walked between the front of his truck and a building, his truck rolled into him, pinning him. Three inspectors have already spent more than 100 hours investigating the accident, citing the operator for a violation of 30 C.F.R. § 56.14207 (parking procedures). If, as MSHA claims, working alone is the common thread link- ing these three accidents, why hasn't MSHA cited anyone for working alone violations related to these three accidents? Near as I can tell, the answer is that these three accidents didn't involve a violation of the working alone standard. For underground mines, 30 C.F.R. § 57.18025 provides that: • No employee shall be assigned, or allowed, or be required to perform work alone in any area where hazardous condi- tions exist that would endanger his safety unless his cries for help can be heard or he can be seen.

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