MSHA reports that on June 13, 2013, a 50-year-old mechanic with 15 years of experience was killed at a stone operation. He was operating a 35-ton articulated haul truck down a haul road. The truck went out of control and hit a berm, propelling it in the air. The truck came to a stop with the bed overturned and the cab upright. The victim was ejected from the truck.
MSHA stresses the following best practices:
- Always wear a seat belt when operating self-propelled mobile equipment.
- Do not operate mobile equipment with reported brake problems. Use other means to move the mobile equipment to a safe area for inspection and repair.
- Ensure that mobile equipment operators are task trained adequately in all phases of mobile equipment operation, including the mobile equipment’s capabilities, operating ranges, load-limits and safety features, before operating mobile equipment.
- Maintain equipment steering and braking systems in good repair and adjustment. Always follow the manufacturer’s service and maintenance schedules.
- Never rely on engine brakes and transmission retarders as substitutes for keeping brakes properly maintained.
- Conduct adequate pre-operational checks to ensure the service brakes will stop and hold the mobile equipment prior to operating.
- Operators of self-propelled mobile equipment shall maintain control of the equipment while it is in motion.
- Operating speeds shall be consistent with conditions of roadways, tracks, grades, clearance, visibility, curves and traffic.
- Do not attempt to exit or jump from moving mobile equipment.