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South Central District
Metal/Nonmetal Mine Safety and Health

Accident Investigation Report
Surface Nonmetal Mine

Fatal Powered Haulage Accident

Material Producers, Incorporated (mine)
ID No. 34-01299
Material Producers, Incorporated
Davis, Murray County, Oklahoma

February 15, 1996


Ronald M. Mesa, Special Investigator
James M. Thomas, Special Investigator

South Central District Office
1100 Commerce Street, Room 4C50
Dallas, Texas 75242-0499

Doyle D. Fink
District Manager


Lee Barnett, utility man, age 38, was fatally injured at about 1:40 a.m. on February 15, 1996, when he was struck by a front-end loader while on foot at a refueling station near the plant. Barnett had a total of sixteen years mining experience, eight years as a utility man at this operation.

MSHA was notified by a telephone call from Neil Simmons, general superintendent, at 5:30 a.m. on the day of the accident. An investigation was initiated the same day.

The Material Producers, Inc. mine, a crushed limestone operation, was located near Davis, Murray County, Oklahoma. Principal operating officials were Dale Vineyard, superintendent; Terry Vineyard, plant supervisor and James Luckinbill, night supervisor. The mine was normally operated two 10-� hour shifts a day, five days a week. A total of 28 persons was employed.

Limestone was extracted by drilling and blasting multiple benches in the quarry. Broken material was transported by truck to a primary crusher and conveyed by belt to an adjacent plant for further processing. The finished product was sold primarily as construction aggregate to local customers.

Barnett had not received training in accordance with 30 CFR Part 48. The last regular inspection was completed on October 4, 1995. Another regular inspection was conducted in conjunction with this investigation.


The accident occurred at the diesel fueling station for diesel equipment located along an access road to the quarry which was approximately one-quarter mile from the plant. The roadway varied in width from 40 to 45 feet and was traveled by mobile equipment and persons on foot. A single General Electric high pressure sodium street light rated at 15,500 lumens was located 30 feet north of the fuel storage tank and provided illumination for refueling equipment. Illumination from this light did not effectively extend beyond the immediate area.

The diesel fuel storage tank was 38 feet long and 8-� feet in diameter. The capacity was 10,000 gallons. A powered fuel pump with hose and shut off valve was located at one end of the tank. At the end of each shift, mobile equipment operators routinely refueled the equipment for the next shift.

The front-end loader involved in the accident was a 1995 Caterpillar, Model 988-F, serial number 8YG01233. It was provided with a ROPS cab and seat belts. The loader weighed approximately 98,000 pounds and was equipped with four, size 35/65-33 tubeless tires, which were 3 feet 5 inches wide. The loader brakes were tested and found to be operational. The back-up alarm and manual horn were functional. The loader was equipped with six flood lamps mounted on the front and four mounted on the rear.


On the day of the accident, Lee Barnett (victim), reported for work at 3:00 p.m. his regular starting time for second shift. He was instructed by James Luckinbill, night supervisor, to operate the dozer in the quarry. Near the end of the shift, Luckinbill drove the 988-F front-end loader to the quarry to pick up Barnett. Barnett climbed onto the loader and rode one-half mile to the refueling station. They stopped on the roadway approximately 120 feet from the fuel storage tank. Barnett told Luckinbill that he would walk to his personal vehicle, which was parked at the plant area, and climbed down from the loader.

A haulage truck, driven by Roy Rogers, was being refueled at the time and a front-end loader was waiting behind his truck. Due to opposite side locations of fuel tanks on the different equipment in use at the mine, the equipment operators approached the fuel pump from various angles and directions. Some would approach moving forward and others would back up.

Rogers finished refueling his truck and began to pull away. At the same time, the loader waiting behind him started to back up to the pump. Luckinbill stated that he raised the bucket on his loader about two to four feet, sounded the horn and moved forward toward the right side of the road to clear the truck as it pulled away.

Rogers saw Luckinbill turn the loader toward the side of the road and stated that the left front portion of the bucket knocked Barnett to the ground and the right rear tire ran over him. Rogers jumped from his truck and shouted at Luckinbill to stop.

Luckinbill did not hear Rogers and began backing toward the fuel tank. The right rear tire ran over Barnett again. Luckinbill stated that he heard a noise and stopped. Thinking that he had struck a haulage truck, which stopped behind him, he moved the loader forward running over Barnett again. He got off the loader to see what had happened and saw Barnett on the ground.

Rogers called for an ambulance, then notified the mine superintendent and local authorities. An ambulance arrived a short time later and Barnett was pronounced dead at the scene.


The primary cause of the accident was failure to make sure that Barnett was in the clear before moving the loader. Lack of rules to regulate the flow of traffic at the refueling station and lack of sufficient illumination for foot traffic were possible contributing factors.


Citation Number 4447573
Issued under the provision of Section 104(a), for violation of 30 CFR 56.9100(a):

A utility man was fatally injured at this operation on 2/15/96, when he was run over by a front-end loader while walking on a roadway near the heavy equipment refueling station. Traffic rules governing the direction of travel for equipment at the refueling area had not been established.

Citation Number 4447574
Issued under the provision of Section 104(a), for violations of 30 CFR 57.17001:

A utility man was fatally injured at this operation on 2/15/96, when he was run over by a front-end loader while walking on a roadway adjacent to the heavy equipment refueling station. The loader operator did not see the victim who was en route to the plant area. A single high pressure sodium vapor street light located near the fuel storage tank did not provide sufficient illumination for foot traffic on the roadway. The road was used by employees walking to areas of the operation.

Citation Number 4447568
Issued under the provision of Section 104(a), for violation of 30 CFR 50.10:

A fatal accident occurred at this operation on 2/15/96, when a utility man was run over by a front-end loader. The mine operator failed to notify MSHA immediately, in that the accident occurred at about 1:40 a.m. and MSHA was not notified until 5:30 a.m.

/s/Ronald M. Mesa

/s/James M. Thomas

Approved By: Doyle D. Fink, District Manager

Related Fatal Alert Bulletin:
Fatal Alert Bulletin Icon [FAB96M07]