DEPARTMENT OF LABOR
MINE SAFETY AND HEALTH ADMINISTRATION
Metal and Nonmetal Mine Safety and Health
REPORT OF INVESTIGATION
Surface Nonmetal Mine
Fatal Machinery Accident
June 3, 2002
Lone Star Quarry & Mill
Lone Star Industries, Inc.
Cape Girardeau, Cape Girardeau County, Missouri
Mine I.D. No. 23-00134
Rick J. Horn
Mine Safety and Health Compliance Specialist
David L. Weaver
Mine Safety and Health Specialist
Phillip L. McCabe
Thomas D. Barkand
Mine Safety and Health Administration
South Central District
1100 Commerce Street, Room 462
Dallas, Texas 75242-0499
Edward E. Lopez, District Manager
On June 3, 2002, Robert L. St. Cin, maintenance mechanic, age 41, was fatally injured when he was struck by metal fragments.
The accident occurred because of a catastrophic failure of one of the components, which caused a bucket conveyor to over speed in the reverse direction sending material fragments of the component flying outward where the victim was working.
St. Cin had 11 years and 9 months total mining experience, all at this location, including 2 years and 10 months as a maintenance mechanic. He had received annual refresher training in accordance with 30 CFR, Part 46.
Lone Star Quarry and Mill, a surface limestone mine and cement plant, owned and operated by Lone Star Industries, Inc., was located in Cape Girardeau, Cape Girardeau County, Missouri. The principal operating official was William S. Leus, Jr., plant manager. The plant and mine operated three, 8 hour shifts per day, 7 days a week. Total employment was 97 persons.
Limestone was mined from multiple benches. The limestone was drilled, blasted and hauled to the crusher by truck. The crushed limestone was then conveyed to the mill where other ingredients were added through various processes to produce cement. The finished product was sold for construction use.
A regular inspection was in progress on the day of the accident.
DESCRIPTION OF ACCIDENT
On June 3, 2002, Robert L. St. Cin, (victim) reported for work at 6 a.m., his normal starting time. St. Cin and Robert L. Hahs, maintenance mechanic, were assigned the task of replacing bolts on the vibrator above the number 8 clinker belt. At about 8:30 a.m., they completed the job and returned to the shop. At about 9:15 a.m., Walter Jones, shift supervisor, called Charles Miller, maintenance foreman, on the radio and advised him that the air slide feeding the main kiln was jammed. Miller, St. Cin, and Hahs went to the ninth floor of the pre heater building to assess the problem. When they arrived, they found Jones, Mark Kluesner, production manager, Dennis Lockhart, control room attendant, Larry Bartles, tower attendant, and Michael Counts, shift laborer, preparing to clean the air slide.
Jones, Miller and St. Cin began cleaning the jammed material from the airslide while Lockhart and Bartles went down to the third stage area to work on another stoppage. After the air slide was cleaned out, Jones, Hahs and St. Cin went to the top level of the vertical bucket conveyor to make sure it was clear. Kluesner, Miller and Counts began putting the covers back on the air slide and checked the blower fans.
At about 9:40 a.m., Jones called the control room attendant and advised him he was going to jog the bucket conveyor to clean out the bottom of the conveyor and check the air slide to make sure it was operating properly. He then called Kluesner and Counts to make sure they were in the clear prior to jogging the bucket conveyor.
Jones went to the jog switch that was located about two feet away from the drive motor. Hahs stood to his left, with St. Cin on Jones' right side and about a half step behind.
Jones manually held the jog switch in for about two minutes until Hahs signaled him that the system was clear. Jones released the jog switch and it returned to the off position. When he stepped back to call the control room attendant he heard a loud whirling sound, followed by a bang. The coupler connecting the drive motor to the bucket conveyor speed reducer had disintegrated and the backstop housing had broken apart. St. Cin was struck in the chest by pieces of metal fragments thrown from the drive train. Emergency medical personnel and the coroner were summoned to the accident site. The victim was pronounced dead at the scene. Death was attributed to massive trauma to the chest.
INVESTIGATION OF THE ACCIDENT
MSHA was notified at 11:27 a.m., on the day of the accident by a telephone call from Robert L. Cox, safety and health manager, to Robert Seelke, mine safety and health compliance specialist. An investigation was started the same day. An order was issued under the provisions of Section 103(k) of the Mine Act to ensure the safety of miners. MSHA's accident investigation team traveled to the mine, conducted a physical inspection of the accident site and equipment involved in the accident, interviewed a number of employees, and reviewed training records, conditions and work procedures relevant to the accident. MSHA conducted the investigation with the assistance of mine management, the miners' representative, and miners.
The cause of the accident could not be determined. The accident occurred because of a catastrophic failure of one of the components, which caused the bucket conveyor to overspeed in the reverse direction sending metal fragments of the component flying outward where employees were working.
Order No. 6210670 was issued on June 3, 2002, under the provisions of Section 103(k) of the Mine Act:
A fatal accident occurred at this operation on June 3, 2002 when a maintenance mechanic was struck by shrapnel from a shattered coupling from the KB 1600 kiln feed vertical bucket conveyor at the top of the RSP tower. This order is issued to assure the safety of persons at this operation and prohibits any work in the affected area until MSHA determines that it is safe to resume normal operations as determined by an Authorized Representative of the Secretary of Labor. The mine operator shall obtain approval from an authorized representative for all actions to recover and/or restore operations in the affected area.This order was terminated on June 14, 2002. Conditions that contributed to the accident have been corrected and normal operations could resume.
Related Fatal Alert Bulletin:
Lone Star Industries, Inc.
Lawrence L. Hofis .......... senior vice president, operationsMine Safety and Health Administration
Gregory A. Cunningham .......... corporate safety and health manager
William S. Leus, Jr. .......... plant manager
Dennis C. Tew .......... engineering & maintenance manager
Robert L. Cox .......... safety and health manager
William K. Doran .......... attorney, Heenan, Althen & Roles
Debbie Hayes .......... safety and health representative, PACE International Union
Herman R. Potter .......... safety and health representative, PACE International Union
Jimmy W. Pruitt .......... president, PACE Local No. 5-0164
Tim Schleinger .......... safety and health representative, PACE Local No. 5-0164
Rick J. Horn .......... mine safety and health compliance specialist
David L. Weaver .......... mine safety and health specialist
Phillip L. McCabe .......... mechanical engineer
Thomas D. Barkand .......... electrical engineer
Lone Star Industries, Inc.
William S. Leus, Jr. .......... plant managerGlobal Gear and Machine Company, INC.
Dennis C. Tew .......... engineering and maintenance manager
Walter R. Jones .......... shift supervisor
Mark G. Kluesner .......... production manager
Charlie L. Miller, Jr. .......... maintenance foreman
Randy L. Hahs .......... maintenance mechanic
Allen E. Crenshaw .......... control room operator
Michael L.Counts .......... shift labor
Russell P. Bottoms