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Fatality #8 - May 3, 2008

Accident Classification: Machinery
Location: Ahart's Hauling, Kentucky
Mine Controller: Debbie F Ahart
Mine Type: Surface
Mined Material: Construction Sand and Gravel
Incident Date/Time: May 3, 2008 03:15 pm

Gary W. Ahart, owner, age 51, was fatally injured on May 3, 2008, when the excavator he was operating fell into an 8-foot deep sump hole. He was attempting to clean a clogged ditch to drain water from the pit after a recent rain. Sump holes had previously been dug in the pit floor to drain water. The pit floor was covered by several feet of water and the sump holes were not visible. 

The accident occurred because management policies and procedures failed to address the hazard created by sump holes that were not visible. All hazards were not identified to ensure that persons could safely perform the task. Barricades or warning signs, visible from all approaches, were not erected to warn persons of a hazard that was not immediately obvious. 


METAL/NONMETAL MINE FATALITY - On May 3, 2008, a 51 year-old mine owner with 45 weeks experience was fatally injured at a surface sand and gravel operation. He was working alone, operating an excavator on the water-covered floor of the pit, attempting to clean a clogged drainage ditch. When the victim moved the excavator, one of the crawler tracks fell into an 8-foot deep sump hole that was not visible due to the high water. The excavator fell on its side, trapping him inside the cab.