DEPARTMENT OF LABOR
MINE SAFETY AND HEALTH ADMINISTRATION
ACCIDENT INVESTIGATION REPORT
SURFACE NONMETAL MINE
FATAL MACHINERY ACCIDENT
Allan A. Myers Inc. ID 36-00060-VXY
Koons Steel Inc. - 36-00060-VXZ
Devault Crushed Stone Co.
A Div. of Allan A. Myers, Inc.
Devault, Chester County, Pennsylvania
August 15, 1995
Deceased: August 20, 1995
Charles W. McNeal
Supervisor Mine Safety and Health Inspector
Elwood S. Frederick
Mine Safety and Health Inspector
Mine Safety and Health Administration
230 Executive Drive, Suite 2
Cranberry Township, Pennsylvania 16066-6415
James R. Petrie District Manager
Paul Hamby, truckdriver, age 52, was seriously injured at about 11:40 a.m. on August 15, 1995. He died on August 20, 1995, as a result of his injuries. He was struck on the head by three sheets of steel that were being unloaded from his truck.
The victim was employed by Koons Steel, Inc., located in Norristown, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania. The company purchased steel plating and other steel products, and cut it to the customer specifications. The finished products were then delivered by truck to the job site. The victim had 1 year 6 months experience as a truckdriver for Koons Steel, Inc.
This quarry was purchased by Devault Crushed Stone Company, a Division of Allan A. Myers, Inc., in May of 1995. Devault immediately removed all of the old plant and began constructing a new one. The new crushing and screening plant was being erected on the site by the construction division of Allan A. Myers Inc., an independent contractor and subsidiary of Allan A. Myers Inc.
Devault Crushed Stone Company, located near Devault, Chester County, Pennsylvania, had not commenced mining at this operation.
The principal operating official was Wayne Stoughton, superintendent. During construction of the new plant, the construction contractor normally operated one 8-hour shift a day, 5 days a week. A total of 9 persons was employed by the construction contractor.
Mr. Stoughton notified Roger F. McClintock, supervisory MSHA
special investigator, Northeastern District Office of the
accident on August 15, 1995, at 1:00 p.m. Charles McNeal,
supervisory MSHA inspector, and Elwood Frederick, MSHA inspector
traveled to the property and began the investigation the same
PHYSICAL FACTORS INVOLVED
The truck involved in the accident was a 1987 International 20-foot flat bed, SN 1HTLDUXN2HH525233, powered by a 6-cylinder diesel engine. The truck had two axles with a weight capacity of 32,000 pounds gross. The distance from the ground to the bed of the truck was about 4 1/2 feet.
There were three sheets of steel measuring 8 feet wide, 24 feet long and 1/4-inch thick on the bed of the truck, weighing a total of 5,875 pounds.
The crane involved in the accident was a Manatawac crawler crane
SN 48311, Model 5150R, with a 150-foot boom, and with a 4-part
line and fall block. Two 3/4-inch by 20-foot cable slings were
attached to the fall block. One WIRECO, EEF, 2-904, 4-inch by
20-foot nylon sling with a rated capacity of 23,040 pounds was
attached to the cable sling by a shackle in a basket hook-up.
DESCRIPTION OF THE ACCIDENT
On the day of the accident, Paul Hamby (victim) reported for work at 7:00 a.m. his regular starting time. He was assigned by Ralph DeFranciso, dispatcher, to deliver various steel products to customers.
At about 11:30 a.m., Hamby arrived at the mine site. Shortly thereafter, Jerry Risser, site superintendent, observed Hamby standing beside the truck without a hard hat. Since hard hats were required, Risser instructed him to get in the truck cab and remain there. Risser then left the scene for another area.
J. D. Williams, crane operator, positioned the crane and lowered
the hook over the steel to be lifted. Kimber Barnhart and Daniel
Mortagua, laborers, placed the nylon sling around the three steel
sheets that extended over the end of the truck. Barnhart signaled
the crane operator to hoist the load. The extended ends were
hoisted up about 5 feet from the rear of the truck. Due to the
flexibility of the load, the sheets bent sharply. Barnhart and
Mortagua positioned themselves on opposite sides of the truck and
attempted to place a second nylon sling under the load. During
this attempt, the plates remained suspended in the same position
for approximately 5 minutes. Meanwhile, Hamby left the truck cab
and was observed walking toward the rear of the truck. The nylon
sling failed and the steel plates dropped, striking the victim on
top of the head. The local rescue squad was summoned. Barnhart
and other workers administered first aid until the local rescue
squad arrived a short time later. Hamby was transported to the
local hospital where he died on August 20, 1995.
Several factors contributed to this accident and the resulting fatality. The severed WIRECO nylon sling was being used in a manner inconsistent with its design and intended use. Although the estimated load of the elevated end of the steel sheets was 3,581 pounds, well within the manufacturer's rated capacity for the sling (23,040 pounds), the method of application was in error. While one end of the stack of three steel plates was being elevated, the sling slipped along the sharp edges of the steel surfaces and was cut. This cutting action was verified in tests conducted by MSHA Technical Support personnel (Appendix B).
Additionally, workers must never be positioned under suspended
loads. Finally, a hard hat should always be worn in areas where
the hazard of falling objects exists. In this accident, the
victim survived for several days. His injuries may have been
lessened if a hard hat had been worn.
The following violations were issued to Allan A. Myers Inc.:
Citation No. 4296025 was issued under the provisions of Section 104(a) on 8/24/95, for violation of 30 CFR 56.16009:
On August 15, 1995, a delivery truckdriver was fatally injured when he was struck on the top of the head by steel sheets that were being unloaded from his truck and was standing under the suspended load when the nylon strap used as part of the hook-up failed.
This citation was abated on 8/24/95, after all employees were given authority to instruct outside contractors to wear hard hats or stay in the cab of their vehicle or leave the property.
Citation No. 4439227 was issued under the provisions of Section
104(a) on 9/25/95, for violation of 30 CFR 56.16007(b):
A fatal accident occurred at this operation on August 15, 1995. A delivery truck driver was struck on the head by 3 sheets of steel plating that were being unloaded from his truck by a crane.
The slings used to hoist these three 1/4 inch plates were made of nylon and were not suitable to handle this type of material.
This citation was abated on 9/25/95, after all employees were instructed that when using nylon straps they will use something to protect the strap from sharp edges.
The following violations were issued to Koons Steel Inc.
Citation No. 4296027 was issued under the provisions of Section 104(a) on 8/24/95, for violation of 30 CFR 56.16009:
On August 15, 1995, a delivery truck driver was fatally injured when he was struck on the top of the head by steel sheets that were being unloaded from his truck by a crane. The truckdriver was standing under the suspended load when the nylon strap used as part of the hook-up failed.
This citation was abated on 8/24/95, after all employees were instructed to stay clear of suspended loads.
Citation No. 4296028 was issued under the provisions of Section 104(a) on 8/24/95, for violation of 30 CFR 56.15002:
On August 15, 1995, a delivery truck driver was fatally injured when he was struck on top of his head by steel sheeting unloaded from his truck. Contrary to instructions from the site superintendent, he was out of the truck cab without a hard hat.
This citation was abated on 8/24/95, after all employees were instructed to wear their hard hat when out of their truck.
Respectfully submitted by:
/s/ Charles W. McNeal
Supervisory Mine Safety & Health Inspector
/s/ Elwood S. Frederick
Mine Safety & Health Inspector
James R. Petrie
Related Fatal Alert Bulletin: