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MNM Serious Accident Alert Surface - Dozer Accident

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Surface Sand & Gravel - A dozer was being used to cut a drainage ditch in a roadway berm. The accident occurred when the left side of the dozer blade ruptured a 16-inch diameter high-pressure natural gas transmission line, leaving an 18-inch long gash in the pipe. The sudden release of pressurized gas blew out all of the windows in the dozer cab and peppered the operator with flying rocks and debris. There was no explosion or fire. The operator was able to exit the cab and run from the area. The operator was transported to the hospital, treated for minor abrasions, and returned to work later that day.

Bull dozer on left, two workers on the right
Best Practices: 
  • Identify and mark all right-of-ways for pipelines and other buried utilities in the proposed area before work begins.
  • Ensure that utility markers are installed, maintained conspicuous, and not removed for any reason.
  • Maintain a safe distance between active mining or maintenance activities and right-of-ways.
  • Ensure that mine maps or overviews accurately depict the location and depth of all buried pipelines and utilities.
  • Utilize an independent utility location contractor to verify utility locations.
  • Review the identification and location of buried utilities with all employees (additional information at http://www.msha.gov/Accident_Prevention/Tips/gaslines.htm).