DEPARTMENT OF LABOR
MINE SAFETY AND HEALTH ADMINISTRATION
Metal and Nonmetal Mine Safety and Health
Accident Investigation Report
Surface Crushed Stone
Fatal Machinery Accident
Rock-N-Roll Incorporated (company)
Rock-N-Roll Incorporated (mine)
Fruitland, Payette County, Idaho
ID No. 10-01921
October 20, 1997
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
Raymond Martin Hutchinson, corporate secretary, age 55, was fatally injured at about 8:30 a.m. on October 20, 1997, when he fell into a crusher. The victim had a total of 20 years mining experience, the last year and three months as corporate secretary. He had not received training in accordance with 30 CFR Part 48.
MSHA was notified at 10:47 a.m. on the day of the accident by a telephone call from the mine superintendent. An investigation was begun the same day.
Rock-N-Roll Inc. was a portable rock crushing company which was working under contract to provide crushed stone and rip rap for St. Clair Construction Company, who was repairing timber roads for the United States Forest Service. The mine was referred to as "the pit on road #625." Principal officials were Raymond Hutchinson, corporate secretary; Lelah Joy Hutchinson, president; and Raymond Diefenderfer, mine superintendent. The mine was normally operated two, eight to ten-hour shifts a day, five to six days a week. Total employment was six persons.
Basalt and limestone material was ripped with a bulldozer and pushed into a primary crusher. Oversized rock was screened and recycled. The final product was stockpiled for delivery to the road work site.
The last regular inspection of this operation was completed on May 6, 1997. At that time, the crusher was at a different location. Another inspection was conducted in conjunction with this investigation.
PHYSICAL FACTORS INVOLVED
The pit was located on U. S. Forest Service road #625 in the Boise National Forest. Global Positioning System gave the location as 44 25' 46.4" north by 116 45' 5.3" west.
The equipment involved in the accident was a 20- by 36-inch Eagle Jaw primary crusher fed by an apron-type feeder. The crusher was driven by an Allis-Chalmers diesel engine with a torque converter and manual clutch. The feeder, crusher, and a discharge conveyor were mounted as a unit on a fifth-wheel trailer. An enclosed operator control booth was mounted on top of the fifth wheel trailer above the crusher and other components. The start/stop contols for the feeder and conveyor were located inside the control booth. The feeder could also be started and stopped from outside the booth by using a remote switch on a power lead. Glass windows in the booth allowed for observation of the crushing process. A green light mounted on the roof of the control booth was turned off by the plant operator when the feed hopper was full. When this light was off, the dozer operator would not push material into the apron feeder. Access to the control booth was by a fixed ladder. The work deck measured 34- by 50-inches and was provided with handrails. An opening in the handrail provided access to a 23- by 24-inch expanded metal platform adjacent to the crusher opening. Work was performed from this platform on a regular basis. The crusher opening measured 30 inches wide by 43 inches long. The distance from the small platform into the jaw crusher was seven feet three inches. Safety belts and lines were not available on the property.
DESCRIPTION OF ACCIDENT
On the day of the accident, Raymond Hutchinson (victim) reported for work at about 6:30 a.m., his usual starting time. Upon arrival, William Bond, bulldozer operator, informed him that the generator which powered the lights would not start. Both men worked on starting the generator for a short time and then started the plant crushing equipment in preparation for the day's production.
At about 7:15 a.m., Bond trammed the dozer to the pit area preparatory to pushing material into the plant feeder. Hutchinson instructed Bond to make two short pushes to clear the hopper area and then begin a regular push, which was about 80 feet in length.
During the short pushes, Bond saw Hutchinson standing on the deck outside the crusher control booth. Hutchinson was holding the remote switch for the feeder. Bond backed up 75 to 80 feet and began a long push to the feed hopper. He could not see Hutchinson at this time.
At about 8:20 a.m., Bond noticed that the green light on the control booth was off. After waiting a few minutes, Bond climbed off the dozer and went over to the plant to see what was wrong. He found Hutchinson head first in the crusher. Material was feeding into the crusher and onto Hutchinson. Bond grasped Hutchinson by his belt and attempted to pull him out, but was unable to do so. The power cable extension and control switch were inside the crusher with Hutchinson.
Bond climbed down to the mid-level of the structure and disengaged the clutch to stop the crusher, then shut off the generator to stop the rest of the plant. Bond had not been instructed how to start or stop the plant using the switches inside the control booth.
After Bond shut down the equipment, he returned to the crusher and saw that he could do nothing for Hutchinson. He drove approximately one-half mile to a deer hunter's camp in search of help. Finding the camp empty, he returned to the mine and attempted to use a cellular phone he found in Hutchinson's pickup truck. Bond did not know how to operate the phone, but by randomly pushing buttons, he was able to activate the redial mode and reached Hutchinson's wife. He told her that her husband was hurt and that emergency assistance was needed.
Mrs. Hutchinson called for help; however, due to lack of prior arrangements for emergency assistance, there was confusion as to which county would provide emergency service. Further, the Life Flight helicopter service had difficulty finding the mine.
At about 9:35 a.m., the local authorities and rescue teams met and traveled together to the mine site. They arrived at about 10:45 a.m. and removed Hutchinson's body from the crusher.
The accident was caused by the failure to de-energize and lock out the crusher prior to accessing the platform adjacent to the crusher opening. Failure to provide and assure the use of safety belts and lines were contributing factors. Lack of instructions for employees for emergency communication and failure to make advance arrangements for medical care and transportation may have contributed to the severity of the accident.
Order No. 7959664 was issued on October 20, 1997 under the provisions of Section 103(k) of the Mine Act:
Order No.7959667 was issued October 20, 1997 under the provisions of Section 104(d)(2) of the Mine Act for violation of 30 CFR 56.15005:
A company official was fatally injured on October 20, 1997 when he fell into the primary crusher. He fell from a small platform, located above and adjacent to the jaw crusher, that was not provided with railings or barriers. A safety belt and lanyard was not provided by the company and consequently was not worn by the victim. Work was performed from this platform on a regular basis.
Order No.7959668 was issued October 20, 1997 under the provisions of Section 104(d)(2) of the Mine Act for violation of 30 CFR 56.12016:
Order No.7959670 was issued October 20, 1997 under the provisions of Section 104(d)(2) of the Mine Act for violation of 30 CFR 56.18013:
Order No.7959671 was issued October 20, 1997 under the provisions of Section 104(d)(2) of the Mine Act for violation of 30 CFR 56.18014:
James M. Salois
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