The Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) reported that on March 14, 2017, an independent owner/operator truck driver walked behind his raised end-dump trailer while dumping his load, and was engulfed by sand. This is the second fatality reported in calendar year 2017 in metal and nonmetal mining.
As of this date in 2016, there were two fatalities reported in metal and nonmetal mining. This is the first Fall of Material fatality in 2017. There was one Fall of Material fatality in the same period in 2016.
MSHA recommends the following best practices to avoid a fatality such as this one:
- Conduct pre-operational checks to identify any defects that may affect the safe operation of equipment before it is placed into service.
- Ensure workers who operate heavy equipment are adequately informed, instructed, trained and supervised.
- Do not position yourself near a truck that is actively dumping, or near a truck while it is raising its bed.
- Ensure that the tailgate is unlocked before elevating the cargo box to the dump position.
- Do not attempt to dump the material if it sticks in the bed. Stuck material can imbalance the load and affect the stability of the truck. Always deflate trailer air springs prior to raising the dump body.