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FOCUS ON HEALTH & SAFETY - JUNE 2018


Truck Driver Killed at Texas Operation

The Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) reported that on April 12, a 60-year-old customer truck driver was killed at Rye Dredge and Plant, Liberty County, Texas, when he fell from, and was run over by, his truck while scanning into the operator’s check-in system. The victim was found underneath the belly dump of the semi-trailer, and the truck was still in gear.

This is the third fatality reported in calendar year 2018 in metal and nonmetal mining. As of this date in 2017, there were three fatalities reported in metal and nonmetal mining. This is the second Powered Haulage fatality in 2018. There was only one Powered Haulage fatality during the same period in 2017.

MSHA recommends the following Best Practices for safety around check-in systems: 

  • Implement check-in system technology that can be scanned remotely from inside the vehicle such as a RFID tag or indicator. 
  • Commercial and customer truck drivers should remain in their trucks while on mine property, unless a safe area for tarping and checking their loads has been designated.
  • Operators should place their equipment in neutral and set the parking brakes before exiting the operator compartment.
  • Rules establishing safe operating procedures should be posted.
  • Ensure workers who operate heavy equipment are adequately informed, instructed, trained and supervised.

MSHA Issues Close Call Accident Alert After Material Slide

The Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) reported that on April 18, a front-end loader operator observed that a portion of the “dirt dump” or refuse pile located on the top rim of the quarry had sloughed and the material had slid down to multiple benches below.  

An estimated 10,000 to 15,000 tons of material was involved in the slide. There were no injuries. The “dirt dump” was barricaded and posted against entry.

MSHA recommends the following best practices to avoid this type of accident:

  • Diligent monitoring and examination of slopes for signs of instability is imperative for protecting miners.
  • Maintain safe operational practices for the protection of personnel, equipment and facilities.
  • Properly grade surfaces of dump piles to permit water to drain from the area.
  • Provide warning of instability so action can be taken to minimize the impact of slope displacement.
  • Provide crucial geotechnical information to analyze slope stability and design slopes to prevent instability.
  • Once cracks are detected, the condition should be evaluated by a qualified engineer. Equipment should not operate across cracks until they are evaluated and the stability of the ground determined.

This alert can be posted on bulletin boards, used in safety talks, or given to miners and contractors as a hand out.


Stay on Top of Illness and Injury with Technology

Safety continues to be a top priority in the construction and aggregates industries. According to the National Safety Council, in 2016 the United States experienced 161,374 preventable deaths, 44.5 million injuries and $967.9 billion in costs.

Some of the main causes of workplace injury and death include motor-vehicle crashes, fatigue and falls. At the same time, accidental injury has become the third highest cause of death for the first time in U.S. history, and preventable deaths rose 10 percent in 2016.

For construction and aggregates workers, addressing this is of utmost importance on jobsites – and technology can help management with reporting. With data in hand, construction firms of all sizes can easily keep track of workplace illness and injury, which leads to better health and safety cultures.

While there are many tools available that can help track this, a new free one comes from UL EHS Sustainability. The company provides occupational health and safety software and training.

The free online tool at www.ulehssustainability.com, is built on the PureOHS platform, which is the company’s proprietary software. Here’s how it works: a user enters injury data once and receives outputs for all necessary forms. This helps streamline the data management process.

While this is one example, there are many tools available to help construction and aggregates workers keep an eye on workplace illness and injury.