DEPARTMENT OF LABOR
MINE SAFETY AND HEALTH ADMINISTRATION
North Central District
Metal and Nonmetal Mine Safety and Health
Accident Investigation Report
Surface Nonmetal Mine
Fatal Powered Haulage Accident
Schildberg Construction Company, Incorporated
Logan, Harrison County, Iowa
I.D. No. 13-02195
May 14, 1998
Gerald D. Holeman
Supervisory Mine Safety and Health Inspector
James M. Hautamaki
Mine Safety and Health Inspector
Dennis L. Kintz
Mine Safety and Health Inspector
George H. Gardner
Mine Safety and Health Administration
515 W. First Street, #333
Duluth, MN 55802-1302
Felix A. Quintana
Lonny L. Sears, truck driver, age 35, was fatally injured at about 11:00 a.m. on May 14, 1998, when he backed his truck off a stockpile. Sears had two years and four months mining experience as a truck driver, all with this employer. He had not received training in accordance with 30 CFR Part 48.
MSHA was notified at 2:55 p.m. on the day of the accident by a telephone call from the safety director for the mining company. An investigation was started the same day.
The Logan mine, a surface limestone quarry, owned and operated by Schildberg Construction Co., Inc., was located one-half mile east of Logan, Harrison County, Iowa. The principal operating official was Mark Schildberg, president. The mine was normally operated one shift a day, five days a week. A total of 13 persons was employed.
Limestone was drilled and blasted from multiple benches in the quarry. Broken material was loaded into haul trucks by front-end loader and transported to a crushing and screening plant. The finished products were stockpiled and sold for use as construction aggregates.
The last regular inspection of this operation was completed on March 11, 1998. Another inspection was conducted following this investigation.
PHYSICAL FACTORS INVOLVED
The truck involved in the accident was a TEREX Model 33-05, powered by a 350-HP engine with a 5-speed automatic transmission. The service brake system was a straight air type with S cam expanding shoes provided at each wheel. It was determined that the service and park brake systems were capable of stopping and holding the truck in the area of travel. An air test indicated that the service brake system did not have any air leaks that would result in a loss of braking capability. Drawbar pull tests determined that the service brakes were capable of stopping and holding the fully loaded truck on a 22 percent grade. Drawbar tests also showed the park brake could hold the fully loaded truck on a 10 percent grade. The truck was equipped with side view mirrors and functional seat belts. The victim was not wearing the seat belt.
The accident occurred at the waste shale overburden stockpile in the plant area.
The stockpile was about 105 feet long, 95 feet wide, and 20 feet high. Its top surface was nearly level and the sides sloped at about 34 degrees. A berm was lacking for a distance of approximately 86 feet along the north edge of the stockpile. Tire tracks indicated that the truck was backed to this edge at an angle of 60 degrees with the right rear wheel traveling over the edge first. There was no indication of slope instability contributing to the accident or any indication that the brakes were applied.
Weather on the day of the accident was warm and clear.
DESCRIPTION OF ACCIDENT
On the day of the accident, Lonny Sears (victim) reported for work shortly before 7:00 a.m., his normal starting time. He and Terry Larson, truck driver, were assigned to haul shale from the quarry to the waste dump, a job they had begun the day before. Work progressed without incident until about 11:00 a.m. when Larson realized that he had not passed Sears en route to the dump as he normally did. When he arrived at the dump, he didn't see Sears' truck and began to back his truck preparatory to dumping. As he backed, he caught a glimpse of green coloring below the waste pile in his mirror and stopped his truck, realizing that Sears' truck had overturned off the dump. He immediately searched the overturned truck, but was unable to locate Sears. He then drove to the office and informed Ricky Sears, superintendent, of the accident. Ricky Sears returned to the scene and located the victim beneath the left front tire. Emergency assistance was summoned and arrived within minutes. The victim was transported to a nearby hospital where he was pronounced dead.
The accident was caused by the mine operator's failure to provide berms, bumper blocks, or other impeding devices at the dumping location. Failure to inspect the dump location was a contributing factor. Failure to use a seat belt may have contributed to the severity of the accident.
Order No. 7813030 was issued on May 14, 1998, under the provisions of Section 103K of the Mine Act:
A fatal accident occurred when a truck driver backed his truck off a waste shale pile. This order is issued to assure the safety of persons at this operation until the affected areas can be returned to normal mining as determined by an authorized representative of the Secretary.
This order was terminated on May 19, 1998 after it was determined that the mine could safely resume normal operations.
Citation No. 7801232 was issued on June 9, 1998, under the provisions of Section 104(d)(1) of the Mine Act for violation of 30 CFR 56.9301:
A fatal accident occurred at this mine on May 14, 1998, when a truck driver backed his truck off of a waste shale pile. The dumping area was not provided with a berm, bumper block or other device to impede overtravel. Failure to provide a dump site restraint constitutes more than ordinary negligence and is an unwarrantable failure to comply with a mandatory safety standard.
This citation was terminated on June 12, 1998:
A berm has been installed at the waste shale pile and the mine operator has established a policy requiring the use of berms, bumper block, or other restraining devices at all dump site locations. Employees have been trained on this requirement.
Order No. 7801233 was issued on June 9, 1998, under the provisions of Section 104(d)(1) of the Mine Act for violation of 30 CFR 56.9304a:
A fatal accident occurred at this mine on May 14, 1998, when a truck driver backed his truck off of a waste shale pile. The mine operator failed to inspect this dumping location prior to work commencing on the day of the accident. Failure to conduct this inspection to assure safe working conditions constitutes more than ordinary negligence and is an unwarrantable failure to comply with a mandatory safety standard.
This order was terminated on June 12, 1998:
The mine operator has established a procedure examining dump locations. All employees have been trained in this requirement.
Order No. 7801234 was issued on June 9, 1998, under the provisions of Section 104(d)(1) of the Mine Act for violation of 30 CFR 56.14131a:
A fatal accident occurred at this mine on May 14, 1998, when a truck driver backed his truck off of a waste shale pile. The truck overturned and the victim was pinned under the left front tire. He was not wearing a seat belt. Failure to initiate and maintain an effective program to assure that mobile equipment operators wear seat belts constitutes more than ordinary negligence and is an unwarrantable failure to comply with a mandatory safety standard.
This order was terminated on June 12, 1998:
The mine operator has implemented a program that includes educating drivers on the mandatory use of seat belts. Employees have been advised that spot checks will be utilized to ensure usage and failure to wear seat belts will result in disciplinary action.
Citation No. 7801235 was issued on June 9, 1998, under the provisions of Section 104(a) of the Mine Act for violation of 30 CRF 50.10:
A fatal accident occurred at this mine at about 11:00 a.m. on May 14, 1998 when a truck driver backed off a waste shale pile. The truck overturned and the victim was pinned under the left front tire. MSHA was not notified of the accident until 2:55 p.m. that day.
The citation was terminated on June 12, 1998:
The mine operator established written procedures that mandate all serious injuries will be immediately reported to MSHA.
Related Fatal Alert Bulletin: