MINE SAFETY AND HEALTH ADMINISTRATION
Metal and Nonmetal Mine Safety and Health
Accident Investigation Report
Surface Nonmetal Mine
Fatal Powered Haulage Accident
Burns International Security Services
Martin Marietta Aggregates Company
Bessemer City Quarry
Bessemer City, Gaston County, North Carolina
August 15, 1998
Charles E. McDaniel
Mine Safety and Health Inspector
Dana L. Haynes
Mine Safety and Health Inspector
Mine Safety and Health Administration
135 Gemini Circle, Suite 212
Birmingham, Alabama 35209
Charles Jefferson Webster, security guard, age 69, was fatally injured at about 9:00 p.m. on August 15, 1998, when he was run over by a pick-up truck. The victim had a total of 5 months experience all as a guard at this mine. He had not received training in accordance with 30 CFR, Part 48.
The plant manager for the mining company notified MSHA at 1:45 p.m. on August 16, 1998, that an apparent heart attack had occurred. An investigation was started the next day.
The Bessemer City Quarry, a crushing plant, owned and operated by Martin Marietta Aggregates, was located 4 miles north of Bessemer City, Gaston County, North Carolina. The principal operating official was Larry Ward, vice president. The plant was normally operated one, 10-hour shift a day, five days a week. A total of 15 persons was employed.
The plant processed mined material left by a previous operator. Amphibolite stone was loaded by hydraulic shovel from a waste pile and hauled by truck to the primary crusher where it was crushed before being conveyed to secondary crushers and sizing screens. It was stockpiled in various sizes and sold as aggregate for concrete, asphalt and other construction applications.
Burns International Security Services, located in Charlotte, North Carolina, was enlisted to provide security for the mine operator when the mine was closed. The principal operating official was Patrick McNulty, CEO. The victim was employed by the security service.
The last regular inspection of this operation was completed on May 28, 1998.
PHYSICAL FACTORS INVOLVED
The accident occurred at the scalehouse/office adjacent to the stockpile area. The incline approach to the scale platform had less than a 1% slope.
The guard shack was located just off a public road, near the main entrance. The property was enclosed by a fence with gates on each side of the guard shack. These gates were locked at the time of the accident. A celluar phone, provided by the mining company for use by security personnel, was found inside the guard shack.
The vehicle involved in the accident was a 1992, Chevrolet C1500, 2 wheel drive, � - ton pick-up truck. It was equipped with a six-cylinder engine and an automatic transmission. The vehicle was owned by Martin Marietta Aggregates and was used for general transportation by both mining company and security personnel. The truck was found to be in good working condition.
On the night of the accident it had been raining. The rain continued into the next morning.
DESCRIPTION OF ACCIDENT
On the day of the accident, Charles Webster (victim) arrived at the mine at 8:00 p.m., his scheduled starting time. He relieved Harold Page, day shift security guard, and began making routine checks of the buildings and grounds. There was no known contact or communication with the victim after he reported for work.
At 7:10 a.m. the next day, Page returned to the mine to relieve Webster. From the public road adjacent to the property, Page noticed the company truck parked near the scalehouse with the headlights on and the windshield wipers operating. Page continued on to the guard shack to wait for Webster to unlock the gate. Webster's personal vehicle was parked outside the gate. The back door of the guard shack was open. When Webster did not appear, Page went back to the plant entrance and found Webster lying on the pavement partially beneath the driver's side of the pick-up truck. Page immediately went to the asphalt plant adjacent to the mine and asked the workers to call 9ll. Page, along with workers from the asphalt plant, returned to the entrance gate and waited for the Emergency Medical Technicians(EMT) to arrive. Clyde Cantrell and Debra Moose, EMTs, arrived at 7:25 a.m. and climbed over the gate to get to Webster. Webster's body was positioned near the left front of the truck with the sleeve of his jacket under the tire. They determined that Webster had been dead for some time. Moose entered the truck to shut off the engine and found the transmission in reverse gear.
The local police arrived and began an investigation. The medical examiner arrived a short time later and pronounced the victim dead at the scene. The cause of death was attributed to crushing injures.
While a log book was kept by the security staff at the guard shack, no log-in time was recorded for Webster, nor were there any other entries made during his shift. Consequently, his activities during the shift could not be determined.
Apparently, Webster got out of the truck without putting the transmission in park and without setting the parking brake. The truck was on a slight grade at the ramp to the scales with the front of the truck facing down hill and the front wheels slightly turned. Webster apparently walked behind the truck and was probably behind the right rear tire, when the truck rolled backward, perhaps knocking him down or causing him to fall. Apparently, the tires straddled Webster and he was struck by the differental housing. The truck stopped with the left front tire on the sleeve of his jacket. Evidence indicated that Webster attempted to free himself , but was unable to do.
The cause of the accident was leaving the truck unattended without placing the transmission in park and applying the parking brake.
Citation No. 7777453 was issued on August 24, 1998, under the provisions of Section 104(a) of the Mine Act for violation of 30 CFR, 56.14207:
A fatal accident occurred at this mine on August 15, 1998, when a security guard was run over and pinned beneath a pick-up tuck he had been operating. The vehicle had been stopped on a slight grade with the engine running and the gear selector in reverse. The park brake was not set. The victim apparently stood behind the vehicle when he was struck and rolled beneath the vehicle
The citation was terminated on August 25, 1998. All security guards have been instructed if for any reason they have to leave the vehicle, shut off the engine, place the vehicle in park gear and set the parking brake.
Related Fatal Alert Bulletin: