The Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) reported that on March 5, a miner at Otter Creek Sand & Gravel Inc., Fulton County, Ill., was fatally injured when the excavator he was operating rolled over into a body of water.
This is the sixth fatality reported in 2021, and the second classified as “Machinery.”
MSHA recommends the following best practices to avoid this type of accident:
- Construct berms or install guardrails on roadways where a drop-off exists. Ensure berms and guardrails are at least as high as the mid-axle height of the largest equipment using the roadway.
- Examine and maintain roadways to prevent slope instability such as over steepened banks, sloughs, and cracking on the roadway and bank.
- Install locked gates at the entrances of roadways that are infrequently traveled. Post speed limit signs and install delineators at the edges of roads.
- Always wear seatbelts when operating mobile equipment.
- When working near water, wear flotation devices and ensure combination seat belt cutter/window breaker tools are installed in equipment. See safety alert here.
- Train equipment operators in the safe performance of their tasks, potential hazards, and the use of alternative/emergency exits in cabs. Examine these exits during pre-operational examinations.