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Metal and Nonmetal Mine Safety and Health


Surface Nonmetal Mine

Fatal Powered Haulage Accident
April 25, 2000

Number 2 Claremore
Bellco Materials, Inc.
Claremore, Rogers County, Oklahoma
I.D. No. 34-00410

Accident Investigators

Larry D. Slycord
Supervisory Mine Safety and Health Inspector

Norman LaValle
Mine Safety and Health Inspector

F. Terry Marshall
Mechanical Engineer

Originating Office
Mine Safety and Health Administration
South Central District
1100 Commerce St., Room 4C50
Dallas Texas,75242-0499
Doyle D. Fink, District Manager


On April 25, 2000, Richard W. Hey, supervisor, age 54, was fatally injured when he was run over by a front end loader while attempting to locate an oil leak on the equipment.

The accident occurred because the loader had not been blocked against hazardous motion and an effective warning had not been given to warn persons the loader was about to move.

Hey had 12 years mining experience all as a supervisor at this mine. He had completed training in accordance with 30 CFR Part 48.


Number 2 Claremore, a surface crushed stone operation, owned and operated by Bellco Materials, Inc., was located in Claremore, Rogers County, Oklahoma. James O. Bell, president, was the principal operating official. The mine was normally operated one 10-hour shift a day, five days a week. Total employment was 10 persons.

Limestone was drilled, blasted and loaded onto haul trucks and transported to the plant where it was crushed, screened and stockpiled. Approximately half of the finished product was used at the company's asphalt plant with the remainder sold as construction aggregate.

The last inspection of this operation was completed on April 18, 2000. Another regular inspection was conducted following this investigation.


On the day of the accident, Richard Hey (victim) reported for work at 6:00 a.m., his normal starting time. At 12:00 noon, Hey went to the maintenance shop to repair an over the road truck. At about 1:30 p.m., Jeremy Rogers, loader operator, parked his loader in the yard near the shop and informed Hey of an oil leak on the loader. Both men returned to the loader and Rogers raised the hood. The engine of the loader was left running as Hey examined on the right side of the engine and Rogers examined the left. After examining the engine compartment for several minutes, Hey told Rogers that he couldn't locate any oil leak. Both of them climbed down and met at the rear of the loader. Without further explanation to Rogers, Hey walked toward his truck parked about 20 feet in front of the loader. Rogers assumed they were finished and returned to the left side of the loader where he activated the power control and waited about 90 seconds until it lowered the hood back into place. Rogers then climbed into the operators cab.

During this time, Hey had located a flashlight in his truck and returned along the right side of the loader to the rear of the unit. He immediately crawled under the loader from the rear and positioned himself under the rear differential. Jeff Barlow, truck foreman, walked from the shop to see if Hey needed assistance and knelt down at the rear of the loader. A few seconds later they suddenly heard the backup alarm. Barlow jumped clear to the right side of the loader and waved his arms trying to signal Rogers. As the loader was backing, the right front tire struck Hay just as Barlow got Rogers' attention. While Hay was being attended to, emergency personnel were summoned and arrived within several minutes. The victim was pronounced dead at the scene. The cause of death was attributed to crushing injuries.


At about 2:20 p.m., on April 25, 2000, Doyle D. Fink, south central district manager, was notified of the accident by a telephone call from Caryl Bell, office manager for the mining company. An investigation began the following day. An order under the provisions of 103(k) of the Mine Act was issued to ensure the safety of the miners until the affected area of the mine could be returned to normal operations. MSHA conducted the investigation with the assistance of mine personnel. The miners did not request, nor have representation during the investigation.

� The accident occurred in the plant yard about 75 feet east of the maintenance shop. The ground in the area where the loader parked was relatively level. The loader engine was left running to maintain fluid pressure in the systems. Reportedly, the bucket had been lowered to the ground and the parking brake had been set. There was no other activity taking place in the area and the weather was clear and dry.
� The loader involved was a Caterpillar 980G with an operating weight of 65,835 lbs. The loader was manufactured in 1998. It was provided with a 7.5 cubic yard bucket that was empty at the time of the accident.
� The loader was 10 feet and 7 inches wide and had an overall length of 31 feet 1 inch. The center to center distance from the front to rear axle was 11 feet. Cab height off ground was 11 feet and 3 inches. The height of the loader at the rear was 8 feet 1 inch. The operator's cab was totally enclosed and climate controlled with both rear and front windshield glass. Both side doors had glass top to bottom and were closed at the time of the accident. Side mirrors were provided outside the cab on both sides of the loader, however the loader was not equipped with rear view mirrors in the cab interior. The mirrors, windshields and door glass were clean and unobstructed. From the operators cab, the equipment operator had impaired visibility. (See Appendix C)
� Inspection of the loader indicated that a small amount of oil had leaked onto the top of the rear differential at some time in the past. The leak was minor and posed no fire hazard.
� The victim's truck was parked about 20 feet from the front edge of the loader's bucket.
� The backup alarm and the horn on the loader were in good working condition. No mechanical defects were found on the Caterpillar 980G wheel loader that contributed to the accident.

The root cause of the accident was management's failure to establish procedures that required blocking the mobile equipment against hazardous motion before performing work on it. The lack of direct communication between the loader operator and the victim was a contributing factor.


Order No. 7893468 was issued on April 26, 2000, under the provisions of section 103(k) of the Act:
An employee was fatally injured on April 25, 2000, when the Caterpillar 980G front end loader reversed direction and ran over him. This order prohibits the use of the loader and the area surrounding the accident scene until MSHA determines that safety hazards on the loader and the effected area do not exist. This order is issued to insure the safety of miners at this operation until the loader and the affected area can be returned to normal mining operations as determined by an Authorized Representative of the Secretary. The operator shall obtain approval from an authorized representative for all actions to recover the equipment and or restore operations in the affected area.
This order was terminated on April 26, 2000, after it was determined by MSHA that the affected area of the mine could resume normal operations.

Citation No. 7881610 was issued on July 3, 2000, for a violation of 30 CFR Part 56.14105:
On April 25, 2000, a fatal accident occurred at this mine site when the foreman was run over by a front end loader. No steps were taken to block the loader against hazardous motion prior to the victim going underneath the loader.
This citation was terminated on July 5, 2000, after all employees received additional training and instruction in blocking mobile equipment against hazardous motion.

Related Fatal Alert Bulletin:
Fatal Alert Bulletin Icon FAB00M14


A. Persons Participating in the Investigation

B. Persons Interviewed


Persons participating in the investigation

Bellco Materials Inc.
Mike L. Shore, safety and compliance
David M. Arnold, attorney at law, Jackson and Kelly
Mine Safety and Health Administration
Larry D. Slycord, supervisory mine safety and health inspector
Norman A. LaValle, mine safety and health inspector
Department of Mines State of Oklahoma
John Pugh, state mine inspector
Veston Woodall, state mine inspector

Persons Interviewed

Bellco Materials, Inc.
Jeremy R. Rogers, loader operator
Jeff A. Barlow, truck foreman
Ray R. Boswell, loader operator