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South Central District


Kimaterials, Incorporated (mine)
ID No. 23-00701
Kimaterials, Incorporated
Old Monroe, Lincoln County, Missouri

December 11, 1995


Willard Graham
Supervisory Mine Inspector

Robert Seelke
Mine Safety & Health Inspector

South Central District Office
Mine Safety and Health Administration
1100 Commerce Street, Room 4C50
Dallas, Texas 75242-0499
Doyle D. Fink
District Manager


Donald J. Plaggenburg, dredge operator, age 40, was fatally injured about 8:50 a.m. on December 11, 1995, when he was crushed between a truck dump bed and the truck frame. Plaggenburg had six months mining experience as a dredge operator, all at this mine.

MSHA was notified of the accident by a telephone call at 2:25 p.m. on the day of the accident by Edward Viehmann, company president. An investigation was initiated the following day.

The Kimaterials mine, a sand and gravel dredging operation, owned and operated by Kimaterials, Inc., was located one mile North of Old Monroe, Lincoln County, Missouri. Principal operating officials were Edward Viehmann, president and Dennis J. Keeteman, plant manager. The mine was normally operated one 8-hour shift a day five days a week. A total of six persons was employed.

A dredge pump was used to extract sand and gravel from a pond.

Dredged material was processed at a sand classification plant and a gravel wash plant adjacent to the pond. The finished product was sold locally to commercial ready-mix concrete customers.

Plaggenburg had received annual refresher training in accordance with 30 CFR, Part 48 on April 21, 1995. The last regular inspection of this operation was completed May 11, 1995.


The vehicle involved in the accident was a 1979 Ford, Model T-800, 10-wheel, dual-axle dump truck equipped with a 10-yard Galion bed. The truck bed was actuated by a single three-stage hydraulic cylinder. The bed weight including the hoist mechanism was 4200 pounds. At the time of the accident the truck bed was empty.

Mechanical problems had developed with the dual tandem rear axle on the truck. The axle assembly was being removed for repair at the time of the accident.

An oak post 98 inches long and four inches square was used to block the truck bed in an upright position.


On the day of the accident major repairs were scheduled at the operation due to failure of the main pump diesel engine on the dredge. Loading of customer trucks from stockpiles continued as usual.

Donald Plaggenburg, victim, reported for work at 7:00 a.m., his regular starting time. Dennis Keeteman, plant manager, held a brief meeting with the employees at the main office to discuss pending maintenance activities.

The crew consisting of Keeteman, Plaggenburg, and two plant operators, Leon Burkemper and Kent Prinster, began the task of removing the truck's rear axle. Work was initially started inside the maintenance shop and the truck was later moved outside for access to a crane preparatory to removing the bed.

At about 8:30 a.m., Burkemper raised the truck bed and blocked it in place with the oak post. The four employees worked at disconnecting the axle assembly components. One of the final components to be removed was the drive line, which was pried loose and allowed to fall to the ground. The crew discussed the need to tie-up the drive line to prevent it from being damaged.

A brief search was made in the immediate area for a piece of rope. When no rope could be located, Keeteman told Burkemper and Prinster to "leave it go (tying up the drive line) until a later time." Plaggenburg had left the area in search of a rope and apparently did not hear Keeteman's message. Keeteman instructed Burkemper to lower the truck bed while Prinster moved a front-end loader from between the truck and the crane.

At 8:45 a.m., Burkemper removed the support post and placed it on the ground. Burkemper signaled to Keeteman that he was preparing to lower the truck bed. Keeteman acknowledged the signal and proceeded to place tools in the bed of the company pickup.

Burkemper stated that he checked to make sure everyone was clear before he reached inside the truck and actuated the control lever to lower the bed. As the bed began to descend, Burkemper noticed a customer truck waiting to be weighed and walked around the front of the dump truck toward the scalehouse.

Prinster stated that he saw Plaggenburg at the bottom of the ramp near the dredge when Burkemper signaled prior to lowering the bed. Prinster moved the loader into position just behind the truck while Keeteman entered the crane cab which was facing the opposite direction. Keeteman had moved the crane a few feet toward the truck when he saw that Plaggenburg had been crushed by the descending truck bed. The two men were not aware that Plaggenburg had returned to the truck with a rope to secure the drive shaft. Prinster ran to the dump truck, started the engine, and raised the bed. Keeteman removed Plaggenburg and lowered him to the ground.

An ambulance service and fire department were summoned and emergency treatment was administered at the scene. Plaggenburg was transported to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead on arrival. Death was attributed to blunt chest trauma.


The direct cause of the accident was failure to reinstall the block to secure the bed prior to continuing work on the truck. A contributing factor was lack of communication between those involved in the task.


The following citations were issued during the investigation.

Citation No. 4329981, was issued on February 26, 1996 under the provisions of Sec.104 (a) for violation of 30 CFR 56.14211 (b):

A fatal accident occurred at this operation on December 11, 1995 when a dredge operator, who was assisting in repairing a dump truck, was crushed by the falling dump bed. The dump bed had been raised and initially blocked, however, the blocking had been removed before the accident occurred.

This citation was abated on January 30, 1996 after a safety meeting was conducted and all employees were instructed on the subject of blocking equipment in the raised position.

Citation No. 4329288, was issued on February 26, 1996, under the provisions of Sec 104 (a) for violation of 30 CFR 50.10:

A fatal accident occurred at this operation at about 8:50 a.m. on December 11, 1995, when a dredge operator was crushed by the descending bed of a dump truck. MSHA was not notified until 2:30 p.m. on the same day.

This citation was abated on February 26, 1996 after the operator was made aware of the 30 CFR 50.10 requirements.

Respectfully submitted by:

/s/ Willard J. Graham
Supervisory Mine Safety and Health Inspector

/s/ Robert D. Seelke
Mine Safety and Health Inspector
Approved by,

Doyle D. Fink
District Manager BR> Related Fatal Alert Bulletin:
Fatal Alert Bulletin Icon [FAB95M46]