MSHA reported that on June 22, a contract bulldozer operator at Vulcan Materials’ Chula Vista, Calif., quarry died when the bulldozer he was operating backed off the edge of a highwall. The bulldozer operator was clearing the bench in preparation for drilling and blasting and had removed the berms along the edge.
This is the 24th fatality reported in 2023, and the 10th classified as “Machinery.”
MSHA recommends the following best practices to avoid this type of accident:
- Install berms, signs or devices to identify the edge of benches.
- Perform workplace examinations and correct hazardous conditions before beginning work and as ground conditions warrant.
- Train equipment operators to identify dangerous conditions and to keep the bulldozer blade between them and the edge near drop-offs.