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South Central District
Metal and Nonmetal Mine Safety and Health
Accident Investigation Report
Surface Nonmetal Mine

Fatal Powered Haulage Accident

Bailey's Limestone Quarry
Bailey's Limestone Quarry(mine)
Wewoka, Seminole County, Oklahoma
I.D. No. 34-01794

June 29,1996

Charles H.Sisk
Supervisory Mine Safety and Health Inspector


Michael A. Davis
Mine Safety and Health Inspector

Originating Office
Mine Safety & Health Administration
1100 Commerce Street, Room 4C50
Dallas, Texas 75242-0499

Doyle D. Fink
District Manager


Johnnie M. Brown laborer age 44, was fatally injured at approximately 1:30 p.m. on June 29, 1996, when the elevated front-end loader bucket he was working from rolled forward, crushing him between the loader bucket and the framework of the primary crusher. Brown had a total of two weeks mining experience, all as a laborer at this mine. He had not received training in accordance with 30 CFR, Part 48.

MSHA was notified of this accident on July 9, 1996, during a telephone conversation requesting assistance in filling out an MSHA accident form (7000-1) from Danielle Bailey, Secretary. An investigation was started the following day.

The Bailey's Limestone Quarry, an open pit crushed stone operation, owned and operated by Bailey's Limestone Quarry, was located five miles southwest of Wewoka, Seminole County, Oklahoma. Principal operating officials were Daniel Bailey, owner/president, Larry Baker, Vice President, and James Marsh, foreman. This mine was still in the construction phase, and was approximately 75% complete. The mine was scheduled to operate one, 8 to 10 hour shift a day, 6 days a week. A total of 7 persons was employed.

Limestone was to be extracted by having a contractor drill and blast a single bench. Material would then be loaded onto trucks with a front end loader and hauled to the crushing plant. The principal products were crushed stone and multiple sizes of graded rock.

A regular inspection had not been conducted at this operation. An inspection was conducted in conjunction with this investigation.


The accident occurred at the primary crusher while skirting was being installed on the crusher. The Cedar Rapids jaw crusher, serial # 75810, was being modified by adding skirting to the hopper to increase its holding capacity. The additional metal skirting panels were being bolted onto the crusher assembly. The assembly was braced with angle iron.

The 1985 Dresser, model 540, front-end loader, serial number 3520101U004076, involved in the accident, was powered by a 205 horsepower, Dresser International Engine. The loader was equipped with 3.75 yard bucket. The used loader was purchased, by the mine operator, in April of 1995.

An investigation conducted by MSHA specialists revealed the following abnormal conditions/defects in the loader's air/hydraulic system:
Dirt/grit had accumulated in the pneumatic system's bucket control circuit.

An "O" ring on the piston in the hydraulic's loader valve's bucket pilot port was worn.

The bucket load leveling mounting bracket position and the worn roller member of the valves linkage.


On the day of the accident, Johnnie M. Brown (victim) reported for work at about 7:00 a.m., his normal starting time. He was to scheduled to complete welding on the secondary crushing platform, a task he had started the day before. Two employees, Larry Baker, vice president, and James Marsh, mine foreman, were already at work replacing teeth on the secondary crusher. Daniel Bailey, owner, and Eathan Smith, laborer, arrived at 9:30 a.m. Brown stopped working on the secondary crusher to assist Bailey and Smith on the primary crusher. They were installing braces to support the hopper skirting by bolting them to the bottom of the crusher assembly before pushing the brace in place with the bucket of the front-end loader. The loader was also used to hold the skirting in place while the top bolt was installed by employees standing inside the elevated bucket.

At about 12:45 p.m., Bailey, Brown, and Smith continued tightening the bolts of one of the primary crusher braces. Smith then left the area to retrieve some additional nuts and bolts, so Bailey climbed down from the bucket and moved the loader backward a few feet and let the bucket down. Smith returned and gave the additional nuts and bolts, to Brown, who then signaled Bailey to raise the bucket. Brown positioned the bucket in front of the apron feed drive motor assembly. The assembly projected out from the main frame approximately 32 inches. Bailey glanced towards the secondary crusher and when he turned back around, he heard Brown yell "Bailey". He immediately noticed that the bottom of the bucket had dropped and the top lip had rolled forward pinning Brown's abdomen and chest against the framework.

Realizing that Brown was seriously injured, Bailey backed the loader away a few feet. Brown fell unconscious from the bucket into Smith's arms, who was standing beside the bucket on the ground. Bailey called for help as he ran to get his truck and Smith began carrying Brown toward the office.

Baker and Marsh ran over from the secondary crusher. At about the same time Bailey arrived with the truck. Brown was placed in the cab and they drove to the hospital in nearby Holdenville, Oklahoma. Enroute to the hospital CPR was performed by Marsh and an EMT from a local fire unit. Further attempts to revive him at the hospital were unsuccessful and he was pronounced dead at 2:39 p.m. Death was attributed to cardiac arrest, due to blunt trauma.


The primary cause of the accident was the practice of working from the raised bucket of a front-end loader. The bucket, and lift arms had not been provided with load-locking devices nor were they secured or blocked to prevent accidental movement.


Order No. 4448694
Issued on 7/11/96, under the provisions of section 103(k) of the Mine Act.

An accident has occurred at this mine site resulting in a fatal injury. Involved in and possibly contributing to this accident, is a Dresser 540 front-end loader, S.N. 3520101U004076. At this time, the loader is down and being inspected to determine if a malfunction/failure of a component may have contributed to the accident. This order is issued to insure the safety of any persons on site, until that examination/investigation is complete. The Dresser 540 front-end loader shall not return to service until the operator has obtained the approval of an authorized Representative of the Secretary.

This order was terminated on July 19, 1996. The defective parts were replaced, and required maintenance was conducted on the loader.

Citation No. 4448695
Issued on 7/10/96, under the provisions of section 104(d)(1) for violation of standard 56.14211(b).

A laborer was fatally injured at this operation on 6/29/96, when He was crushed between the loader bucket and the metal framework of the primary crusher's apron feeder v-belt drive unit. The front-end loader bucket was being used to work out of in a raised position, and was not provided with a load-locking device or blocked to prevent it's accidental lowering. Working from the elevated loader bucket had been a common practice thru-out the construction of this facility. All three members of management were aware of this practice and at least two persons from management had utilized the loader in this manner. A foreman, on site at the time of the accident, had prior mining experience and should have known this practice was hazardous. "This is an unwarrantable failure".

This citation was terminated on July 28, 1996. All employees were informed that the practice of persons working from loader buckets was discontinued.

Citation No. 4448696
Issued on 7/10/96, under the provisions of section 104(a) for violation of 50.10.

An employee was fatally injured at this operation when he was crushed between the front-end loader bucket and a portion of the primary crusher. This accident occurred on 6/29/96, Mine Safety and Health Administration was not notified until 7/9/96. There is a member of management with prior mining experience who should have known to report this accident.

This citation was terminated on July 11, 1996. The MSHA form 7000-1 was completed and a copy provided to MSHA.

/s/ Charles H. Sisk
Supervisory Mine Safety & Health Inspector

/S/ Michael Davis
Mine Safety and Health Inspector

Approved by: Doyle D. Fink, District Manager

Related Fatal Alert Bulletin:
Fatal Alert Bulletin Icon [FAB96M28]