On Friday, August 2, 2019, a 39-year old contract equipment operator, with 16 years of experience, was killed while descending the main haul road in a fuel/lube truck. The victim radioed that the truck’s brakes did not work and after traveling approximately one mile down a 7% grade, struck a runaway truck ramp’s berm causing it to overturn. The victim was not wearing a seatbelt.
- Always wear seat belts when operating mobile equipment.
- Maintain control and stay alert when operating mobile equipment.
- Conduct adequate pre-operational checks and correct any defects affecting safety in a timely manner prior to operating mobile equipment.
- Promptly remove equipment from service if defects affecting safety are found. Never rely on engine brakes and transmission retarders as substitutes for keeping brakes properly maintained.
- Operate mobile equipment at speeds consistent with the conditions of roadways, tracks, grades, clearance, visibility, curves, and traffic.
- Ensure that berms are adequate for the vehicles present on site. Runaway truck ramps should be constructed to accommodate out of control mobile equipment traveling at a high rate of speed. The length, width, grade, and approach to the runaway truck ramp should be sufficient for the mobile equipment used on the haul road.
This is the 13th MSHA fatality reported in calendar year 2019. As of this date in 2018, there were 12 MSHA fatalities reported. This is the fifth powered haulage accident classification fatality in 2019. There was seven powered haulage accident classification fatalities during the same period in 2018.