MINE SAFETY AND HEALTH ADMINISTRATION
NORTH CENTRAL DISTRICT
Metal and Nonmetal Mine Safety and Health
Accident Investigation Report
Surface Nonmetal Mine
Fatal Machinery Accident
Irving Materials, Incorporated
Calcium Products Company Mill
Swayzee, Grant County, Indiana
I.D. No. 12-01961
February 1, 1999
Ralph D. Christensen
Supervisory Mine Safety and Health Inspector
Emery A. Beard
Mine Safety and Health Inspector
Eugene D. Hennen
U.S. Department of Labor
Mine Safety and Health Administration
515 First Street, #333
Duluth, MN 55802-1302
Felix A. Quintana
Wiley R. Gordon, maintenance man, age 33, was fatally injured at about 12:15 p.m. on February 1, 1999, when a section of crane boom fell, striking him. Gordon had nine years, 10 months mining experience, all as a maintenance man at this operation. He had received training in accordance with 30 CFR, Part 48.
MSHA was notified at 1:20 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 Calcium Products Company mill, a lime milling operation, owned and operated by Irving Materials, Inc., was located at 6455 West 600 South, Swayzee, Grant County, Indiana. The principal operating official was Charles Ray Rich, area manager. The mill was normally operated two, 10-hour shifts a day, five to six days a week. A total of 15 persons was employed.
Crushed limestone was transported by truck from the Pipe Creek Jr. mine and stockpiled at the mill site. The material was further processed into fine grind lime products and sold for use as fertilizer, animal feeds, and sports field marking product.
The last regular inspection of this operation was conducted on January 28, 1999.
The accident occurred at the parts storage yard near the lime plant. The equipment involved was a Bucyrus-Erie, Model 30B, crawler-mounted crane which had been moved to the yard to install an additional 31 feet of boom that was needed to reach the top of the mill building. At the time of the accident, two employees were disconnecting the point section from the intermediate section preparatory to installing the additional 31 feet. The boom was 102 feet, 4 inches long and consisted of four sections pinned together. The base section of the boom attached to the crane house was 18 feet long and weighed 1,800 pounds. Following the base section were two, 30-foot long intermediate sections weighing 2,400 pounds each. The point section, which was the section suspended by the crane pendant cables, was approximately 22 feet long and weighed 2,000 pounds, making the total weight of the boom 8,600 pounds.
The sections were connected by four lugs, one at each corner, secured by 1-� inch round steel pins. The pins did not have heads and were held in place with cotter pins. The boom sections were equipped with lugs on top of each section just behind the joints, which were provided to attach the pendant cables. The pendant cables could be connected with pins at these lugs to support the boom during removal or addition of sections. Two lighter-weight lugs for lifting each section into or out of the boom were located in the middle of each section.
At the time of the accident, the pendant cables were attached to the point end of the boom. Blocking or other support was not used.
The toxicology report stated that the victim had ingested sufficient marijuana to have pharmacological effects.
DESCRIPTION OF THE ACCIDENT
On the day of the accident, Wiley Gordon (victim) reported for work at about 7:00 a.m., his regular starting time. Paul Rich, supervisor, instructed Gordon to adjust the swing-brake on the crane and then add sections to the boom. Garth Yeakle, laborer, was to help extend the boom. Rich saw Gordon at about 8:00 a.m. and discussed the swing-brake adjustment and reviewed the crane's instruction manual for adjustment of the swing-brake with him. After lunch, Yeakle brought a section of boom with a forklift to the site and Gordon lowered the crane boom horizontally to a height approximately 4-� feet off the ground. Yeakle positioned himself under and inside the boom structure at the joint to be disconnected and began to knock out one of the lower pins with a hammer. Gordon, who was standing outside the boom, pulled out the loosened pin by hand. Yeakle gave the hammer to Gordon and moved outside the boom. Gordon positioned himself inside the boom structure and struck the other lower pin with the hammer until the end was flush with the lug hole. He then moved outside the structure alongside the boom and struck the pin repeatedly, trying to work it out of the lug. When the pin came out, the 80-foot section of boom fell to the ground, striking Gordon on the head and pinning his left leg and right foot.
Yeakle ran to summon help from other employees in the warehouse and office area. Philip Fortney, company technician, called the local 911 emergency assistance number. Emergency medical personnel arrived a short time later and the coroner pronounced the victim dead at the scene.
The accident was caused by failure to secure the elevated crane boom to prevent it from falling during disassembly.
Order No. 7825992 was issued on February 1, 1999, under the provisions of Section 103(k) of The Mine Act:
A fatal accident occurred at this operation on February 1, 1999, when a boom section of the Bucyrus-Erie crane fell on an employee. This order is issued to assure the safety of persons at this operation and prohibits all activity involving the crane or any work in or near the crane until MSHA has determined it is safe to resume normal operations. The mine operator shall obtain approval from an authorized representative for all actions to recover and/or restore the operation in the affected area.Citation No. 7819244 was issued on March 22, 1999, under the provisions of Section 104(a) of The Mine Act for violation of 30 CFR 56.14211(a):
A maintenance man was fatally injured at this operation on February 1, 1999, when he was crushed while dismantling a crane boom in order to insert a section to extend the length. The boom was not supported and when the second of two lower attachment pins was removed, the boom section fell on the victim.This citation was terminated on March 22, 1999, after a training plan for boom maintenance was developed and all persons working with this type of equipment were trained.
Citation No. 7819251 was issued on March 22, 1999, under the provisions of Section 104(a) of The Mine Act for violation of 30 CFR 56.20001:
A maintenance man was fatally injured at this operation on February 1, 1999, when he was crushed while dismantling a crane boom in order to insert a section to extend the length. The boom was not supported and when the second of two lower attachment pins was removed, the boom section fell on the victim. The toxicology report indicated the victim was impaired and under the influence of cannabis at the time of the accident.
Related Fatal Alert Bulletin:
Persons participating in the investigation were:
Irving Materials, Inc.
Daniel Butler, vice president of aggregate departmentGrant County Coroner's Office
Walter E. Tharp, safety director
Charles Ray Rich, area manager
Philip Fortney, company technician
Joseph Frazier, plant foreman
Paul Rich, new construction engineer/supervisor
Donal Boatwright, union steward, Local 103, Operating Engineers
Delbert Warren, laborer/construction-maintenance
Garth Adam Yeakle, laborer/construction-maintenance
Rodney White, laborer
Jack Brady, CoronerGrant County Sheriff's Department
Scott Haley, DeputyGas City Ambulance Squad
Stephen Clouse, Deputy
William GrubbMine Safety and Health Administration
Ralph D. Christensen, supervisory mine safety and health inspector - Peru, IL
Emery A. Beard, mine safety and health inspector - Peru, IL
Eugene D. Hennen, mechanical engineer P.E. - Pittsburgh
Stephen E. Alberti, mine safety and health inspector - Vincennes, IN