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MSHA - Fatal Investigation Report


North Central District
Metal and Nonmetal Mine Safety and Health

Accident Investigation Report
Surface Nonmetal Mine

Fatal Fall of Person Accident

Select Erecting Incorporated
ID No. 7EM


Vulcan Materials Company Midwest Division
Sussex Quarry
Sussex, Waukesha County, Wisconsin
I.D. No. 47-00219
November 13, 1998


Paul A. Blome
Supervisory Mine Safety and Health Inspector

Thomas J. Pavlat
Mine Safety and Health Specialist

Originating Office
Mine Safety and Health Administration
515 West First Street, #333
Duluth, Minnesota 55802-1302

Felix A. Quintana
District Manager


Mark E. Raap, foreman, age 50, was fatally injured at about 11:20 a.m. on November 13, 1998, when he fell from the top of a bin which was being dismantled. He had a total of 30 years experience as an ironworker and approximately two years experience in mining, the last one and one-half years as a foreman with this contractor. He had not received training in accordance with 30 CFR Part 48.

MSHA was notified at 12:30 p.m. on the day of the accident by a telephone call from the safety and health manager for the mining company. An investigation was started the same day.

The Sussex Quarry, an open pit crushed stone operation, owned and operated by Vulcan Materials Company Midwest Division, was located at Sussex, Waukesha County, Wisconsin. The principal operating official was Donald J. Lindner, superintendent. The mine was normally operated one, 12-hour production shift and one, 12-hour maintenance shift a day, five days a week. A total of 20 persons was employed.

Limestone was drilled and blasted from multiple benches in the pit. Broken material was conveyed by belt to the primary plant where it was crushed, screened, and stockpiled prior to being sold for use as construction aggregate.

Select Erecting Incorporated, a service contractor, was located in Racine, Wisconsin. The principal operating official was Joseph R. Van Bree, Jr., president and treasurer. The contractor had been enlisted to dismantle a hopper-type bin and had worked at the mine since November 9, 1998. This was the first time the contractor had worked at this mine, but had done work for the mine operator at other sites on previous occasions.

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


The accident occurred at the old lime mill area of the plant. The bin being dismantled consisted of twin hoppers 40 feet, 10 inches high. The top section of the hopper was 24 feet, 7 inches long and 22 feet, 3 inches wide. The roof on top of these hoppers was constructed of 3/16-inch metal plate, which extended about 3 feet past the top edge on the east and south sides. The roof plates were the first pieces removed during the dismantling process.

A Grove RT65S-7.5 mobile crane was used to handle dismantled sections of the bin. As each piece was removed, it was secured by a shackle and steel choker, then lowered to the ground where it was unhooked by a groundman.

A JLG Lift with a two-person basket was used for workers to access the top of the bin. The lift platform was enclosed with handrails and hydraulically actuated controls were located in the basket.

Routinely, full-body harnesses with short lanyards were worn while in the liftbasket and while working above ground on the bin.


On the day of the accident, Mark Raap (victim) reported for work at 7:00 a.m., his normal starting time. The weather was partly cloudy, 40 to 50 degrees Fahrenheit, with a breeze up to 10 miles per hour. It was decided that it was not too windy to work that day. Raap met with the crane operator, Michael Pearson, and ironworker Christopher Clawson, who was to work on top of the bin. The groundman, Thomas Casebolt, arrived at about 8:30 a.m. It was Pearson's and Casebolt's first day at this jobsite, and Raap discussed the dismantling procedure with the crew prior to starting work. Clawson and Raap began to remove pieces of metal and lower them to the ground. After cutting the roof plates loose with a torch, they would cut a hole to fit the shackle and then attach the steel choker. The choker was attached to the lead line on the crane and either Clawson or Raap would signal Pearson to lower the metal to the ground where it was disconnected by Casebolt.

Just after 11:00 a.m., Raap cut the welds on the inside edge of the fourth plate and proceeded to cut from the outside edge inward to remove a section about 10 feet long and 42 inches wide. After making this cut, he raised the basket and positioned it to one side, halfway down the length of the bin. He then unhooked his lanyard, got out of the basket and onto the roof.

Pearson and Casebolt saw Raap walking on the northeast corner of the bin along the I-beam, which was supporting one side of the plate he had just cut. The plate was not yet hooked to the crane. When Pearson and Casebolt looked again, they saw Raap and the plate falling to the ground. Raap landed on his back and the plate landed beside him.

Pearson and Casebolt called for help and attended to Raap until medical assistance arrived a short time later. Raap was transported by helicopter to a local hospital where he died that afternoon.


The accident was caused by failure to use the safety harness and lifeline while working on the bin.


Vulcan Materials Company Midwest Division

Order No. 4316561 was issued on November 13, 1998, under the provisions of Section 103(k) of the Mine Act:

A fatal accident occurred at this operation when a contract foreman fell approximately 40 feet while dismantling an aggregate storage bin at the old lime mill plant. This order is issued to assure the safety of persons in the affected area until it can be returned to normal operations, as determined by an authorized representative of the Secretary. The operator shall obtain approval from an authorized representative for all actions to recover equipment and/or restore operations in the affected area.

This order was terminated on November 14, 1998, after it was determined that the mine could resume normal operations.

Select Erecting, Incorporated

Citation No. 7805759 was issued on December 2, 1998, under the provisions of Section 104(d)(1) of the Mine Act for violation of 30 CFR 56.15005:

A contractor's foreman was fatally injured at this mine on November 13, 1998, when he fell approximately 40 feet from the top of the old lime mill plant bins. He had been dismantling the bins and was standing on top without being attached to a safety line. The foreman displayed a serious lack of reasonable care, constituting more than ordinary negligence and an unwarrantable failure to comply with a mandatory safety standard, when he failed to attach his safety belt to a safety line.


Persons participating in the investigation were:

Vulcan Materials Company Midwest Division

Donald J. Lindner, superintendent
Randy Logsdon, manager, safety and health
Roger L. Gagliano, Jr., operations manager-Wisconsin
Dewey Avercamp, foreman
Select Erecting, Incorporated
Joseph R. Van Bree, Jr., president and treasurer

International Union of Operating Engineers, Local No. 139

Michael P. Pearson

Bridge, Structural and Ornamental Iron Workers, Local No. 8

Christopher E. Clawson

Milwaukee and Southern Wisconsin District Council of Carpenters, Local 161

Thomas Casebolt

Waukesha County Sheriff's Department

Thomas Lentz, captain

Construction and Industrial Safety Consulting Services, Inc.

Debra A. Redell, OSHA compliance consultant
Wendy S. Johnson, OSHA compliance consultant

Mine Safety and Health Administration Paul A. Blome, supervisory mine safety and health inspector
Thomas J. Pavlat, mine safety and health specialist

Related Fatal Alert Bulletin:
Fatal Alert Bulletin Icon FAB98M48