MSHA Releases Fatality Final Report

The Mine Safety and Health Administration issued a final report on 2018’s Fatality #2.

On March 14, Lee G. Mackay (victim) began work at 7:00 a.m. at Geneva Rock Products Inc.’s Hansen Pit in Draper, Utah. Miners were performing scheduled maintenance during a two-week shutdown of the plant. Chris Hardy, aggregate foreman, assigned Mackay and Louis Jacobson, a crusher maintenance mechanic, to weld steps at a vibrating feeder. Mechanics worked in pairs as per company policy.

At approximately 10:00 a.m., Jacobson stopped work on the vibrating feeder to help Soothie Hohrein, a crusher operator, remove the discharge chute assembly from the Cedarapids 8- x 20-ft. triple-deck screen deck (vibrating screen deck). Hardy operated the RT635C crane used in the process. After placing the discharge chute assembly on the ground, Hardy left the area, and Hohrein and Jacobson began replacing the self-cleaning tail pulley on the #2 Chip Belt. Mackay finished welding the steps and joined Hohrein and Jacobson in replacing the tail pulley.

At approximately 12:30 p.m., Hardy returned to the area. Jacobson and Hardy rigged the replacement discharge chute assembly using three wire ropes ¾-in. x 10-ft. long. One of the three wire ropes had a ¾-ton come-along attached between the wire rope and the lifting point to facilitate tilting the chute assembly.   

After rigging the replacement chute assembly, Daxton Reece, a crusher operator, Hohrein, Jacobson and Mackay traveled on the catwalk along the vibrating screen deck as Hardy hoisted the replacement discharge chute assembly in place with the crane. Hohrein and Mackay positioned themselves on the west side of the discharge chute assembly while Jacobson and Reece worked from the east side. The discharge chute assembly became wedged between steel structures of the vibrating screen deck as Hardy lowered it. Jacobson and Mackay climbed over the handrails of the vibrating screen deck and across the elevated belt conveyors to attempt to free the suspended chute assembly. Mackay and Jacobson began prying the discharge chute assembly with 30-in. pry bars. The discharge chute assembly shifted, hitting Mackay in the head and causing him to slump down in a seated position.

Hohrein called to Mackay, but he was unresponsive. Jacobson ran around the discharge chute assembly and attempted to hold Mackay’s head upright while Hardy climbed onto the belt. Hardy called and asked Clayson, who was not on-site during the incident, to call 911. 

At 1:05 p.m., Clayson called 911, and 911 was connected to Hardy to facilitate emergency care. Hohrein and Reece retrieved first aid materials and then Jacobson, Hardy and Reece attended to Mackay while Hohrein traveled to the entrance of the site to escort Emergency Medical Services (EMS) personnel to the scene. EMS arrived on the scene at 1:15 p.m. EMS administered CPR and used an Automated External Defibrillator, but pronounced Mackay dead at the scene at 1:32 p.m.

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