DEPARTMENT OF LABOR
MINE SAFETY AND HEALTH ADMINISTRATION
Metal and Nonmetal Mine Safety and Health
Accident Investigation Report
Surface Nonmetal Mine
Fatal Slip or Fall of Person Accident
Florida Crushed Stone Company
Tampa, Hillsborough County, Florida
Mine I.D. No. 08-00159-ZJG
January 17, 1997
Merle E. Slaton
Supervisory Mine Inspector
James C. Enochs>BR> Mine Safety and Health Inspector
Mine Safety and Health Administration
135 Gemini Circle, Suite 212
Birmingham, Alabama 35209
Ralph E. Fisher, laborer, age 49, was fatally injured at approximately 12:45 p.m. on January 17, 1997, when he fell 28 feet to the concrete floor from a walkway where he was working. Fisher had a total of four months mining experience, one month at this operation. The victim had not received training in accordance with 30 CFR, Part 48.
Bryan E. Adkins, safety director, Florida Crushed Stone, notified the MSHA Bartow, Florida field office of the accident at 2:10 p.m. on January 17, 1997. An investigation was started the same day.
The Tampa Mill, owned and operated by Lafarge Corporation, was located on Maritime Boulevard, Tampa, Hillsborough County, Florida. The principal operating official was Nicholas E. Ryan, Jr., director of Florida operations. The mill normally operated one, twelve-hour shift per day, five days per week. Twenty-two persons were employed.
The Tampa Mill was a processing facility where lime and other additives were combined with portland cement to make mortar mix. The product was shipped in bulk form, or bagged and shipped to the western Florida area.
Florida Crushed Stone, an independent contractor located in Brooksville, Florida, had recently purchased the old kiln No. 4 and its related parts located at the Tampa Mill. They were to dismantle the kiln and remove it from mine property. The company official on site was Donn Simon, project manager.
The victim was employed by Handi-Man, an industrial temporary help company, who was providing temporary labor for Florida Crushed Stone Company to help disassemble the mill.
The last regular inspection of this operation was conducted on May 21, 1996.
The accident occurred at the old kiln No. 4 on top of the structure that supported the kiln. To access the kiln, employees used a stairway that went up to a walkway and then stepped up to the area where the kiln was housed. This area was 36 feet wide, 48 feet long, and 28 feet high.
The walkway was 36-inches wide and went around all four sides of the structure. Handrails, provided around the entire walkway, were constructed of 1-1/4-inch diameter pipe. The top rail was 42 inches above the walkway and the mid-rail was 18 inches above the walkway.
The kiln and some parts had been removed prior to the accident. When the thrusters were removed, a 35-inch section of the top rail in the handrail had been cut away to allow the crane access to the kiln area. A piece of timber cribbing, used to support the thruster, had been left in the area. The cribbing measured 12 inches by 12 inches by 40 inches long, with one of the edges rounded like a log. The cribbing was left on the kiln side of the walkway, with the rounded edge down, directly across from where the handrail had been cut away.
DESCRIPTION OF ACCIDENT
On the day of the accident, Ralph E. Fisher (victim) reported to work at 7:00 a.m., his regular starting time. Fisher and Dave Smith, both laborers, met with Donn Simon, project manager, to discuss their work assignments. Fisher and Smith went to the top of the old kiln No. 4 to continue with the removal of parts to the kiln that was being disassembled. They were removing base plates that had been bolted into the concrete and were slightly embedded. By using air tools they would drill holes to inset splitters to break away the cement. Work continued all morning without incident.
At 12:30 p.m. Fisher and Smith returned from lunch and went to the top of the old kiln No. 4. Smith was standing at the edge of the kiln area with his back to the walkway, across from where the handrail had been cut away. Fisher asked Smith to check with Simon if they should continue drilling or start splitting the concrete. Smith then saw Fisher step back, onto the piece of cribbing left in the walkway. The cribbing rolled, and Fisher fell through the section of handrail that had been cut away. He fell 28 feet to a concrete floor below.
Emergency units were summoned and when they arrived, Fisher was transported by ambulance to a local Tampa hospital where he was pronounced dead by the attending physician. Death was attributed to injuries received from the fall.
The accident was caused by failure to replace the section of railing which had been removed and failure to remove the timber cribbing from the walkway.
Citation No. 4549172
Issued on January 22, 1997, under the provisions of Section 104(a) of the Mine Act for violation of 30 CFR 56.11002:
Citation No. 4549173
Issued on January 22, 1997, under the provisions of Section 104(a) of the Mine Act for violation of 30 CFR 56.20003:
/s/ Merle E. Slaton
Supervisory Mine Inspector
/s/ James C. Enochs
Mine Safety & Health Inspector
Approved By: Martin Rosta, District Manager
Related Fatal Alert Bulletin: