United States
Department of Labor

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Fatality Alert - Fatality #21 - October 29, 2008

Accident Report: Fatality Reference: 
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METAL/NONMETAL MINE FATALITY - On October 29, 2008, an 81 year-old truck driver with 55 years of experience was fatally injured at a surface copper operation. The victim was unfastening a load of pipe when one 50-foot section rolled off the flatbed trailer and struck him.

Photo of Accident Scene Described in the Paragraph Above
Best Practices: 
  • Analyze all tasks and identify possible hazards prior to beginning work.
  • Establish safe work procedures and discuss with persons performing the task.
  • Identify and control all hazards to finish the job safely.
  • Train all persons to recognize and understand safe procedures to perform tasks before beginning work.
  • Evaluate the stability of the material before unfastening a large load. Pay particular attention to loads that may have shifted or become unstable during transport.
  • Install secondary supports (side stakes) of adequate height and strength to prevent material from falling when the load is unfastened; or prior to unfastening the material, secure the item being unloaded to the machine used in the unloading process.
  • Stand clear of items being loaded or unloaded.
Additional Information: 

This is the 21st fatality reported in calendar year 2008 in the metal and nonmetal mining industries. As of this date in 2007, there were 32 fatalities reported in these industries. This is the 3rd falling Material fatality in 2008. There were 2 Falling Material fatalities in the same period in 2007.