DEPARTMENT OF LABOR
MINE SAFETY AND HEALTH ADMINISTRATION
Metal and Nonmetal Mine Safety and Health
Report of Investigation
Underground Metal Mine
Fatal Hoisting Accident
August 24, 2000
Rodeo Vent Shaft
Barrick Goldstrike Mines, Inc.
Carlin, Eureka County, Nevada
ID No. 26-02300
Ronald D. Pennington
Supervisory Mine Safety and Health Inspector
Jeran C. Sprague
Mine Safety and Health Inspector
Thomas D. Barkand
Mine Safety and Health Administration
Rocky Mountain District
P.O. Box 25367, DFC
Denver, CO 80225-0367
Irvin T. Hooker, District Manager
On August 24, 2000, Anthony Mark Ward, shaft miner, age 41, was fatally injured when he was struck by the shaft-sinking bucket. This accident occurred on the fourth deck of the Galloway shaft- sinking work platform.
The accident occurred because the operator did not ensure that workers were clear of the suspended loads while working in the fourth deck of the Galloway shaft-sinking work platform.
Ward had a total of 18 years underground mining experience, one month as a shaft miner at this operation. He had received at least 40 hours training in accordance with 30 CFR Part 48 prior to being assigned to the Rodeo Vent Shaft mine.
A regular MSHA inspection was ongoing at the time of the fatal accident. This inspection was completed on August 31, 2000.
The Rodeo Vent Shaft mine, an underground ventilation shaft, will provide ventilation for the Miekle Mine operated by Barrick Goldstrike Mines Incorporated, was located 27 miles north of Carlin, Eureka County, Nevada. Principle operating officials were Richard Quesnel, Meikle Mine manager; Chantal Lavoie, Rodeo project superintendent; James D. Jannetto, director of underground safety and health; and David C. Sheffield, superintendent of safety and health. The accident occurred at the Rodeo ventilation shaft which was being sunk and developed into the existing underground workings of the Meikle Mine. The mine was operated, two, 12-hour shifts a day, 5 days a week. Total employment was 30 persons.
Pre-sinking work for the Rodeo ventilation shaft began in the latter part of 1999. Surface construction for the shaft-sinking facilities was completed in August, 2000, and the sinking work commenced immediately upon surface completion. Conventional mining methods were used in the shaft-sinking project including drilling, blasting and removal of the blasted material.
DESCRIPTION OF ACCIDENT
Anthony M. Ward (victim) reported for work at 7:30 p.m., on August 23, 2000, his regular starting time. Ward was a member of the shaft-sinking crew which consisted of nine miners, seven underground and two on the surface. Ward's job classification was shaft miner 3 and his duties varied throughout the course of the shift. During the shift, the victim assisted in all phases of the shaft-sinking process including rock bolting, blast-hole drilling, loading blast holes with explosives, general work on the Galloway and assisting the top lander.
Shaft-sinking activities progressed through the night with the crew performing about three hours of mucking and three hours of drilling. Around 5:00 a.m., on August 24, 2000, the explosives were lowered to the blasting crew at the bottom of the shaft. Ward assisted the other miners loading the blast holes. At approximately 6:00 a.m., Ward was hoisted to the fourth deck of the Galloway in the hoist bucket. While Ward was being hoisted, he was letting out blasting line from a spool which would be connected to the loaded blast holes and to the blasting box.
Ward exited the hoist bucket on the fourth deck. The hoist bucket was taken to the shaft collar where the unused explosives were removed. The top lander then signaled the hoistman to lower the hoist bucket into the bottom of the shaft.
There were four miners located at the bottom of the shaft waiting for the hoist bucket to be lowered to them. While waiting for the hoist bucket to be lowered, there was a conversation between Ward and the miners located approximately 65 feet below the fourth deck of the Galloway.
As the bucket was lowered and reached the crosshead and chairs, the hoistman flashed the lights to warn the miners on the bottom that the hoist bucket was being lowered. The leadman on the bottom was stationed at the bellcord and signaled the hoistman to continue to lower the hoist bucket.
The victim was leaning over the hoist bucket well handrail and was struck by the hoist bucket as it traveled downward to the shaft bottom. It was unlikely that the victim saw the hoistman flash the warning lights because the warning lights were mounted on the bottom of the hoist bucket.
The leadman on the bottom sensed that something was wrong and signaled the hoistman to stop lowering the hoist bucket. The mechanic located on the first level (lowest level) of the Galloway climbed the ladderway to the fourth deck and found the victim's body partially over the top handrail with his torso pinned between the shaft hoist bucket and the top handrail. While holding onto the victim, the mechanic used the bellcord to signal the hoistman to raise the hoist bucket off the victim. The mechanic pulled the victim back onto the work deck to prevent him from falling to the bottom of the shaft. As soon as the victim was safely placed on the work deck, the hoist bucket was lowered to the bottom of the shaft so the four miners could be raised to the victim's location.
A Stokes basket was lowered from the surface to the accident scene. The victim was secured in the basket and hoisted to the surface. He was transported by the company ambulance and by helicopter to the Elko Regional Hospital where he was pronounced dead at 7:52 a.m., from blunt force trauma.
INVESTIGATION OF THE ACCIDENT
MSHA was notified at 6:57 a.m., on the day of the accident by a telephone call from Michael Drussel, underground safety coordinator, to Tyrone Goodspeed, supervisory mine inspector. An investigation was started the same day. MSHA's investigation team traveled to the mine and made a physical inspection of the accident site, interviewed a number of employees and reviewed documents relative to the job being preformed by the victim and the equipment he was using. An order was issued pursuant to Section 103(k) of the Mine Act to ensure the safety of the miners. A miners' representative was present during the investigation.
The root cause of the accident was the operator's failure to ensure that workers were clear of the suspended loads. Contributing factors included: an inadequate warning system which gave ample notice to persons working on the Galloway staging when the hoist-bucket was traveling through the decks.
Order No. 7989037 was issued on August 24, 2000, under the provisions of Section 103(k) of the Mine Act:
A fatal accident occurred at this operation on August 24, 2000, when a miner was caught between a descending muck bucket and the top handrail on the fourth deck of a five deck Galloway.
This order is issued to assure the safety of persons at this operation until the mine or affected areas can be returned to normal operations as determined by an authorized representative of the Secretary. The mine operator shall obtain approval from an authorized representative prior to returning affected areas of the mine to normal operations.
This order was terminated on September 5, 2000. The operator has installed an automatic strobe light warning system on all five decks of the Galloway shaft sinking work platform. This warning system activates when the shaft-sinking bucket passes a sensor located 50 feet above the work platform. The strobe lights will activate on all five decks of the platform and will automatically deactivate when the bucket passes all five levels. As the bucket is raised through the work platform the warning lights will activate and then deactivate when it passes through the upper sensor.
All employees were trained to move to a safe area away from the bucket well when the warning lights activate.
The operator has established a policy for this warning system to be tested each shift. Should the system fail, all shaft-sinking operations will cease until the warning system is repaired and operable. The emergency power will operate all Galloway functions, all signals, lighting and the Galloway winches. In addition, the power to the bell signal and the warning system are independent of the main Galloway.
Order 7989037 is terminated. Conditions that contributed to the accident have been corrected and normal mining operations can resume.
Citation No. 7919806 was issued on August 24, 2000, under the provisions of Section 104(a) of the Mine Act for violations of 30 CFR 57.16009:
At 6:20 a.m., on August 24, 2000, a fatal accident occurred on the fourth level of the Galloway work deck. This work platform was located in the Rodeo Vent Shaft and was used in the shaft-sinking project. The shaft-sinking bucket struck the victim as it was lowered to the shaft bottom to retrieve 4 miners that had finished loading blast holes. The victim was not in the clear of the suspended load.This citation was terminated on September 6, 2000. The company installed automatic strobe warning lights on the Galloway. The miners were instructed in safe work practices.
Related Fatal Alert Bulletin:
A. Persons Participating in the Investigation
B. Persons Interviewed
Persons participating in the Investigation
Rodeo Vent Shaft
Scott Herr ......... mine superintendentState of Nevada, Department of Business and Industry, Mine Safety and Training Section
Chantal Lavoie ......... project superintendent
David Sheffield ......... Barrick superintendent, safety and health
Michael Drussel ......... underground safety coordinator James D. Jannetto ......... director of underground safety and health
Lonnie R. Foutch ......... vent shaft, shift foreman
John Sozio ......... general foreman for shaft construction
Theodore A. Chidester ......... miners' representative
Joseph N. Rhoades ......... mine inspectorMine Safety and Health Administration
Timothy Kilbreath ......... mine inspector
Ronald D. Pennington ......... supervisory mine safety and health inspector
Jeran C. Sprague ......... mine safety and health inspector
Thomas D. Barkand ......... technical support, mine electrical systems
Rodeo Vent Shaft
Lonnie R. Foutch ......... shift foreman
Jerry Walter Ashlock ......... shaft miner 4
Kevin J. Melong ......... general supervisor, underground mining
Michael Scott Sturgell ......... shaft miner 4
Thomas Dale Kraus ......... shift mechanic, maintenance technician
Ronald Allen McKinnon ......... shaft miner 4
Brian John Fagg ......... top lander
Curtis D. Pennington ......... hoistman
James Donald Jannetto ......... director of underground, safety and health
Randolph R. Skow ......... shaft miner 4