MINE SAFETY AND HEALTH ADMINISTRATION
Metal and Nonmetal Mine Safety and Health
Accident Investigation Report
Underground Metal Mine
Fatal Powered Haulage Accident
Barrick Goldstrike Mines, Incorporated
Carlin, Elko County, Nevada
ID No. 26-02246
January 10, 1999
Supervisory Mine Safety and Health Inspector
Mine Safety and Health Inspector
Western District Office
Mine Safety and Health Administration
2060 Peabody Road, Suite 610
Vacaville, CA 95687
James M. Salois
Nicholas J. Barney, truck driver, age 28, was fatally injured at 12:20 p.m. on January 10, 1999, when another haulage truck backed into his truck while he was parked. Barney had 9� years mining experience, one year and one month as a miner at this operation. He had received training in accordance with 30 CFR Part 48.
MSHA was notified at 2:10 p.m. on the day of the accident by a telephone call from the safety supervisor for the mining company. An investigation was started the same day.
The Meikle mine, a multi-level underground gold mine, owned and operated by Barrick Goldstrike Mines, Inc., was located 27 miles north of Carlin, Elko County, Nevada. Principal operating officials were Donald Prahl, vice president and general manager; David Sheffield, superintendent of safety and health services; Richard Quesnel, mine manager; and Steven Long, mine superintendent. The mine was normally operated two, 12-hour shifts a day, seven days a week. A total of 227 persons was employed; of this number, 176 worked underground.
Gold bearing ore was drilled and blasted in open stopes. Broken material was transported from the stopes on haulage trucks to ore chutes, then subsequently crushed and hoisted to the surface. Depending on grade, the ore was either milled or hauled to a cyanide leach pad for processing. The milled or leached product was sent to the plant refinery for removal of impurities and pouring into dore` bars. These bars were transported to refineries off site for final processing prior to sale to customers.
The last regular inspection of this operation was completed on February 23, 1998. An inspection was being conducted when the accident occurred.
PHYSICAL FACTORS INVOLVED
The accident occurred in the 3375 access drift on the 1525 level of the mine. The drift provided access to a stope which had been blasted and was ready for mucking. A barricade had been installed approximately 52 feet inby its intersection with the north/south haulage drift to prevent entry into the open stope. The 3375 drift averaged 15 feet wide by 15 feet high, which were the nominal dimensions for all underground headings. The floor of the drift was clean and had a slight grade for drainage. The ribs were clean and vertical.
Every level of the mine connected to a spiral ramp which was the main route for movement of all mobile equipment. The ramp was approximately 15 feet wide and 15 feet high. It was not wide enough for two haulage trucks to pass. A computer-monitored, block lighting system which used red, yellow, and green lights was used to direct the movement of mobile equipment on the ramp and intersecting drifts. The lights were placed at intersections and along the ramp.
The two haulage trucks involved in the accident were manufactured by DUX Machinery Corporation. The victim's truck was a low-profile, four wheel drive, articulated, end-dump, model number DT 22, company no. 3, rated at 22 tons capacity. The truck was approximately 26 feet long, 8 feet wide, and 7 feet high. It was equipped with two headlights, two backup lights, a backup alarm, and a horn. The backup alarm was automatically actuated when the transmission was placed in reverse. The backup lights were activated by a switch on the dash. The cab was located at the left front of the machine and forward visibility was unobstructed. The cab was not provided with an overhead protective structure. The truck had been backed into the 3375 drift with its lights off and engine running. The back end of the empty truck bed was within 18 inches of the barricade installed in front of the stope. The front of the truck was approximately 25 feet from the intersection with the haulage drift. The victim's lunch box was found unopened on the vehicle. An inspection of the truck conducted after the accident indicated no safety defects.
The other truck involved in the accident was similar in design, but was a larger model DT 30, company no. 10, rated at 30 tons capacity. It was approximately 34 feet long, 9 feet high, and 11 feet wide. The driver's cab was located at the left front of the machine and visibility to the front was unobstructed. Visibility to the rear of the truck was somewhat obstructed due to the height and width of the bed. It was loaded with ore when the accident occurred. The truck was equipped with a horn, two headlights, two backup lights, and a backup alarm. The backup alarm was automatically actuated when the transmission was placed in reverse and was audible above the surrounding noise levels. The backup lights were activated by a switch on the dash. An examination of the truck after the accident revealed no safety defects.
A written policy was in place requiring mobile equipment operators to ensure that an area was free of obstructions, parked equipment, rubble, and personnel prior to entering a drift, crosscut, or intersection. The policy noted that this activity could be usually accomplished by driving slightly past a drift or crosscut and looking in. The policy also directed operators to get off their equipment and walk into an area before entering if they could not see into it to ensure that it was safe. However, there was no established policy regarding when or where lunch and rest breaks could be taken and no provisions to assure that the equipment operators could take breaks in a safe location out of the traffic pattern.
DESCRIPTION OF ACCIDENT
On the day of the accident, Nicholas Barney (victim) reported for work at 8:00 a.m., his regular starting time. Barney was assigned to haul waste backfill material from the 1525 level to the 1450 level. Other truck drivers were given similar assignments for different areas of the mine. Barney worked at this assignment throughout the morning without known unusual incident.
At about noon, the victim backed his truck to the barricade in the 3375 access drift, left the engine running, and turned off the vehicle's lights. Gary Alyea, miner, was operating a 30-ton haulage truck hauling ore from the 1525 level to the 1225 level ore pass. Alyea entered the intersection of the 3375 access drift and the north/south haulage drift at the ramp and saw a red light on the block lighting system indicating that other equipment on the ramp had the right-of-way. Consequently, he backed his truck into the access drift. He did not get off his vehicle to see if the drift was clear because he backed into it several times earlier in the shift to wait for clearance. When he backed the truck into the drift, he felt a jolt and realized he had struck something. Alyea pulled forward and got off his truck to see what had happened. On reaching the back of his truck, he saw that he had backed into the victim who was sitting in the smaller truck's cab. Alyea ran from the scene and obtained assistance from other miners in the area. Emergency Medical Technicians arrived shortly and administered medical assistance to Barney while he was transported to the surface. He was transported to a local hospital and pronounced dead a short time later by the county coroner. Death was attributed to massive trauma.
It was the consensus opinion of the investigators that the victim backed into the access drift to rest, left the engine running, and turned off his lights. With the vehicle parked in the dark in the relatively short drift, the other driver did not see it or expect it to be there. Failure to provide a visible warning device for the parked truck was a contributing factor.
Order No. 7963849 was issued on January 10, 1999, under the provisions of Section 103(k) of the Mine Act:
A fatal haulage accident occurred in the 3375 access drift on the 1525 level of the underground mine. This order is to prohibit the use of the 30-ton DUX haulage truck (company no. 10) and the 22-ton DUX haulage truck (company no. 3) as well as the 3375 access drift to ensure the safety of persons at this operation until the trucks and area can be returned to normal mining operations as determined by an authorized representative of the Secretary. The operator shall obtain approval from an authorized representative for all actions related to the haulage trucks and affected accident site prior to being placed back into or restored to normal operations.The order was terminated on January 12, 1999, after it was determined by an authorized representative that the area and trucks were safe and could resume normal operations.
Citation No. 7973403 was issued February 11, 1999, under the provisions of Section 104(d)(1) of the Mine Act for violation of 30 CFR 57.9100(a):
A miner was fatally injured at this operation on January 10, 1999, when a 30-ton haul truck backed into the victim's 22-ton haul truck which was parked in the 3375 access drift. The parked truck had been backed into the drift and did not have its lights on. Rules governing the use of lights for parked haul trucks were not established at this mine. Further, rules governing the backing of mobile equipment were not followed by the driver of the 30-ton truck. Failure to establish rules governing the use of lights for parked vehicles and failure to initiate effective enforcement of the established rules governing the backing of equipment is a serious lack of reasonable care, constituting more than ordinary negligence and is an unwarrantable failure to comply with a mandatory safety standard.Citation No. 7973404 was issued on February 11, 1199, under provisions of Section 104(a) of the Mine Act for violation of 30 CFR 57.14208(a):
A miner was fatally injured at this operation on January 10, 1999, when a 30-ton haul truck backed into the victim's 22-ton haul truck which was parked in the 3375 access drift. Visible warning devices were not used to prevent hazards to persons in other mobile equipment.
1. List of persons present during the accident investigation.
2. Sketch of the accident site.
Related Fatal Alert Bulletin:
Persons participating in the investigation
Barrick Goldstrike Mines, Inc.
Richard Quesnel ............... mine managerState of Nevada, Mine Safety and Training Section
Steven Long ............... mine superintendent
David Sheffield ...............superintendent of safety and health services
James Jannetto ............... underground safety supervisor
Edward Tomany ............... chief administrative officerMine Safety and Health Administration
Joseph Rhoades ............... mine inspector
John Widows ............... supervisory mine safety and health inspector
Bobby Caples ............... mine safety and health inspector
Dennis Ferlich ............... mechanical engineer