Skip to content

Southeastern District
Metal and Nonmetal Mine Safety and Health

Accident Investigation Report
Surface Nonmetal Mine

Fatal Slip or Fall of Person Accident

Fleet Glass
I.D. 9HU
Continental Aggregates, Incorporated
Continental Aggregates Pit No. 1
Miami, Dade County, Florida
I.D. 08-00892

Date of Injury: July 17, 1998
Date of Death: July 27, 1998


Harry L. Verdier
Supervisory Mine Safety and Health Inspector

Bobby Underwood
Mine Safety and Health Inspector

Originating Office
Mine Safety and Health Administration
135 Gemini Circle, Suite 212
Birmingham, Alabama 35209

Martin Rosta
District Manager


James L. Randolph, Jr., glazier, age 73, was seriously injured at about 10:30 a.m. on July 17, 1998, when he fell while descending from a front-end loader while replacing a windshield. He died on July 27, 1998, from complications as a result of the injuries. The victim had about forty years experience replacing glass in mobile equipment and buildings. He had not received training in accordance with 30 CFR, Part 48.

The plant manager for the mining company notified MSHA at 3:30 p.m. on July 30, 1998, when it was determined that the death was attributed to injuries received from the fall. An investigation was started the same day.

The Continental Aggregates Pit No. 1, a crushed limestone operation, owned and operated by Continental Aggregates, Incorporated, was located at N.W. 58th Street, Miami, Dade County, Florida. The principal operating official was Raymond Middel, plant manager. The mine was normally operated one, 8-hour shift a day, five days a week. A total of 28 persons was employed.

Limestone was drilled and blasted, then excavated by dragline from under water and stockpiled for drying. Primary crushing of the material was completed in the pit area by portable crushers. The material was then loaded by front-end loaders into haul trucks and transported to the milling area to be crushed, sized, screened and stockpiled. The product was sold for use as construction aggregate.

Continental Aggregates contracted work to Westwind Contracting, Incorporated (Westwind) to complete drilling, blasting, excavating, and primary crushing of the material. Westwind was located in Fort Lauderdale, Broward County, Florida. The principal operating official was Russell Casey, superintendent.

Fleet Glass, enlisted by Westwind to replace a windshield in a front-end loader, was located at 530 N.W. 135th Street, Miami, Dade County, Florida. The principal operating official, and only employee, was James L. Randolph, Jr. (victim).

The last regular inspection of this operation was completed on July 8, 1998.


The accident occurred in the pit area of the mine where the ground was level and mostly dry. Crushed limestone had been applied to raise the area about one foot above the water table.

The front-end loader involved in the accident was a Caterpillar 980G, powered by a Caterpillar 3406C diesel engine and equipped with an eight-cubic-yard bucket. It was parked in the pit area adjacent to a haul road at the time of the accident. The lifting boom was in the lowered position with the bucket on the ground. The top of the boom, where the work was being performed, measured eight feet, four inches to the ground and was two feet seven inches above the top of the tire. The width of the boom from the outside edges was three feet, six inches. The center section of windshield being installed was two feet, eight inches wide by three feet, two inches high.

Tires on the loader were Goodyear lug-type tires, size 29.5x25, and measured five feet, nine inches from ground level to the top of the tire.

A ladder used by the victim to access the loader was a standard eight-foot aluminum step ladder.

A section of plywood that measured two feet wide, four feet long, and 3/4-inch thick was placed on top the loader lifting boom to make a work platform.


On the day of the accident, James L. Randolph, Jr., (victim) arrived at the mine site at about 8:30 a.m. and met with Russell Casey, superintendent for Westwind. Randolph was to remove the broken center section of a windshield on the front-end loader and replace it with a new one. Randolph had been at the mine previously on several occasions to replace glass in various pieces of mining equipment for Westwind.

Randolph placed the step ladder next to the left front tire. He carried the plywood up the ladder, stepped onto the tire and placed it across the top of the boom to make a platform from which he could replace the windshield.

After the broken windshield was removed, Randolph asked Casey for help to get the new windshield up on the platform. Aime Lalibert, front-end loader operator for Westwind, was sent to assist Randolph. Lalibert went up the ladder with the new windshield, handed it to Randolph, then left the area.

Work continued without incident until about 10:30 a.m. when Randolph ran out of caulk prior to finishing the seams on the new windshield. As he was getting down from the platform to step onto the tire, he fell, striking the tire and a ladder mounted on the side of the loader. He landed between the left front and rear tires of the loader. The plywood platform was found on the ground and the step ladder was in place against the tire, where Randolph had placed it.

At about 10:45 a.m., a haul truck operator noticed Randolph lying on the ground and radioed the office to call the local 911 emergency assistance number. Paramedics arrived a short time later and administered first aid. Randolph declined the paramedics' suggestion to go to the hospital for further treatment and observation.

After the paramedics left, Randolph sat on the back of his truck and talked with Casey and Darren Mason, supervisor for Continental Aggregates. Randolph said that his glasses had fogged up and he didn't know if he just over stepped the platform or if it may have tilted with him. Randolph asked Mason if he would finish caulking the windshield. After Mason finished, he and Casey helped Randolph into his pickup truck. Randolph left the mine site between 11:30 a.m. and 12:00 noon.

When Casey called Randolph that afternoon, Randolph told him he felt OK as long as he was sitting, but he was having difficulty walking. Randolph's son stated that the next morning Randolph was in severe pain and was taken to the hospital by ambulance. His injuries included a broken pelvis and a ruptured spleen. He died on July 27, 1998, of a heart attack, attributed to injuries received in the fall.


The cause of the accident could not be determined. However, a major contributing factor may have been the fogging that occurred on the victim's glasses, due to heat and humidity, which made it difficult for him to see as he tried to step down onto the tire.


Continental Aggregates, Incorporated
Raymond Middel .......... plant manager
Darren Mason............... supervisor

Westwind Contracting, Incorporated
Russell Casey ............. superintendent
Aime Lalibert ............... front-end loader operator

James L. Randolph, III ............... victim's son

Mine Safety and Health Administration
Harry L. Verdier ............... supervisory mine inspector
Bobby A. Underwood ....... mine safety and health inspector

Related Fatal Alert Bulletin:
Fatal Alert Bulletin Icon FAB98M31