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UNITED STATES
DEPARTMENT OF LABOR
MINE SAFETY AND HEALTH ADMINISTRATION

North Central District
Metal and Nonmetal Mine Safety and Health

ACCIDENT INVESTIGATION REPORT
SURFACE NONMETAL MINE
[SAND AND GRAVEL]
FATAL MACHINERY ACCIDENT

Oxford Plant #816 (I.D. No. 20-02688-WVC)
American Aggregates of Michigan
Deltaic Welding, Inc. (contractor)
Oxford, Oakland County, Michigan

December 22, 1995

By

Donald J. Foster, Jr.
Mine Safety and Health Inspector

Originating Office
Mine Safety and Health Administration
Federal Building, U.S. Courthouse
515 West First Street, #228
Duluth, MN 55802-1302
James M. Salois
District Manager


GENERAL INFORMATION

Jack J. Barron, Jr., Bannerman Farms contract truck driver, age 30, was fatally injured at about 10:50 a.m. on December 22, 1995, when he was pinned under a conveyor frame that was being loaded onto his truck trailer. Barron had seven years experience as a truck driver.

The MSHA field office in Lansing, Michigan was notified of the accident by a telephone call from Daniel F. Clark, Region Operations Manager, American Aggregates of Michigan, at 12:30 p.m. on December 22, 1995. The investigation was started the same day.

The Oxford Plant #816, an open pit sand and gravel mine operated by American Aggregates of Michigan, was located at 850 Dunlap Road in Oxford, Oakland County, Michigan. The principal operating official was Daniel F. Clark, Region Operations Manager. The mine and plant normally operated two, nine-hour shifts a day, six days a week with 21 employees, however, the mine was idle for the Christmas holiday when the accident occurred.

Deltaic Welding Inc., owned by Douglas Bates of Milford, Michigan, was contracted by American Aggregates to dismantle two portable conveyors in the North Pit and move them to another mine site. Barron was employed by Bannerman Farms, Holly, Michigan, and was subcontracted by Deltaic Welding, Inc. to transport the conveyors to the other location. Four contractor employees were working at the job site at the time of the accident. The three Deltaic Welding employees had received Hazard Training as required by the mine operator. Barron, the Bannerman Farms truck driver, had received no training.

The last regular inspection of this operation was conducted November 2, 1994.

PHYSICAL FACTORS INVOLVED

The accident occurred in the North Pit of the Oxford Plant #816 where two portable conveyors had been dismantled and prepared for transport. The conveyor section frame involved in the accident was 40 feet in length, 4 feet square, and constructed of 3 inch angle irons. There were fourteen, 36 inch top idler assemblies and four bottom return idlers attached to the frame. The conveyor section was equipped with a gathering hopper and an impact box and the total weight was about 5,900 pounds.

The truck being loaded was a 4300 Transstar, pulling a fifth-wheel lowboy trailer. The trailer was 30 feet long, 10 feet wide, and 25 inches high.

The conveyors were being loaded with a 1981 International Harvester S-180 utility hoist truck, model number 1854, VIN number IHTAA1852BHA31882. The truck was equipped with an Altec Industries three stage boom hoist, Model No. D820-T, manufactured in Birmingham, Alabama. The truck had two outriggers mounted on the rear of the truck for stability during hoisting. The boom was capable of extending 36 feet and was controlled by Joy sticks and a foot pedal located at the rear of the truck. The truck was owned and being operated by Douglas Bates, vice-president of Deltaic Welding Inc. when the accident occurred.

A ½ inch, 6x25 fiber core wire rope, 80 feet in length, was installed on the boom hoist. It was attached to a weighted Crosby swivel hook by two U bolt and saddle clamps manufactured in Korea. A sling consisting of two, 3/4 inch by 10 foot wire ropes attached to a steel ring in the middle and hooks on each end, was used to hoist the conveyor sections.

The conveyor was elevated approximately 7 feet above ground over the trailer edge when the wire rope hook attachment failed, allowing it to fall.

DESCRIPTION OF THE ACCIDENT

On the day of the accident, Jack J. Barron, Jr., victim, reported to the North Pit construction site at approximately 9:00 a.m., with his truck and lowboy trailer. Barron met with contractor Doug Bates and his two employees, Brad Newby and Rich Athey. Bates asked Barron to position his lowboy so that the first conveyor section could be loaded. Barron positioned the lowboy trailer then sat in the cab of the hoist utility truck while the others loaded the first conveyor section.

The second conveyor was lifted with the utility boom truck and Barron was asked to turn the lowboy around and back it under the suspended conveyor. While backing in, the first conveyor loaded on the lowboy caught the suspended conveyor and the trailer had to be repositioned. Barron moved the trailer into position then dismounted the truck and walked around to the side of the lowboy. Newby had positioned himself on the cab end of the lowboy and Athey was on the ground at the rear. Both men were pushing on the suspended conveyor in an attempt to align it on the trailer. Bates was operating the hoist from the rear of the utility truck. Barron was standing near Newby, but alongside the conveyor, and also began pushing on the conveyor.

While the Deltaic employees and Barron were pushing on the conveyor, the truck hoist wire rope pulled through the clamps attaching it to the weighted hook and the conveyor fell. It struck the lowboy trailer, then rolled over and pinned Barron beneath it. The conveyor also caught Athey's clothing and knocked him to his knees but he was not injured.

Bates lowered the hoist boom on the truck and Newby attached a chain to the conveyor and directly to the boom. Bates lifted the conveyor off of Barron and him and Newby began cardiopulmonary resuscitation while Athey went for help.

The police and emergency medical personnel arrived a short time later and transported Barron to the hospital where he was pronounced dead on arrival. An autopsy determined the cause of death to be chest trauma.

CONCLUSION

The accident was caused by the improper attachment of the hoist wire rope to the weighted hoist hook. The failure to work from a safe position while working around a suspended load contributed to the severity of the accident.

VIOLATIONS

The following citations were issued on February 15, 1996:

Citation No. 4546328; Issued at 1430 hours; Part/Section of Title 30 CFR: 56.16007a; Type of Action: 104a

A contract truck driver was fatally injured when assisting in the loading of a suspended 40-foot section of portable conveyor frame. He was attempting to guide or steady the conveyor frame onto his flatbed trailer by hand, in lieu of tag lines, when the crane hook wire rope slipped out of its clamps and allowed the conveyor frame to fall on him.

Citation No. 4546329; Issued at 1500 hours; Part/Section of Title 30 CFR: 56.16009; Type of Action: 104a

A contract truck driver was fatally injured when he failed to stay clear of a suspended 40 foot portable conveyor section frame. The driver was attempting to assist in loading of the conveyor frame onto a flatbed trailer when it came loose and fell on him.

Citation No. 4546330; Issued at 1515 hours; Part/Section of Title 30 CFR: 56.14100a; Type of Action: 104a

The 1981 International Harvester S-180 boom truck, Model 1854, used during the loading of sections of conveyor frames on December 22, 1995, was not being inspected by the equipment operator before being placed into operation. The boom truck was defective in that the hook attachments were improper.

A fatal injury occurred when a suspended section of the conveyor frame fell onto a contract truck driver during the loading process.

Citation No. 4546331; Issued at 1535 hours; Part/Section of Title 30 CFR: 56.14100b;Type of Action: 104a

A 1981 International Harvester S-180 boom truck, Model 1854, being used to lift a 40 foot section of portable conveyor frame onto a flatbed trailer, was defective in that the hook rigging assembly on the boom truck had the following defects: the wire rope was not properly attached to the crane hoist hook; the wire rope clamps were of improper size and construction; the wire rope clamp bolts had not been torqued; and two, rather then three, clamps were installed on the hook assembly. These factors combined with the weight of the conveyor frame, caused the wire rope to pull through the clamps and resulted in a contract truck driver being fatally injured.

Respectfully submitted by:

/s/ Donald J. Foster, Jr.
Mine Safety and Health Inspector

Approved by:

James M. Salois
District Manager
Related Fatal Alert Bulletin:
Fatal Alert Bulletin Icon [FAB95M49]