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MSHA News Release: [01/16/2009]
Contact: Amy Louviere
Phone: 202-693-9423
Release Number 09-74-DEN

MSHA fines Utah mine owner, contractor $265,000
Miner employed by contractor fatally crushed when parking brake failed

ARLINGTON, Va. - The U.S. Department of Labor's Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) announced it has issued penalties totaling $265,000 to C.W. Mining Co. and contractor TrimacTransportation Service Inc. for violations that contributed to a fatal accident at the Bear Canyon Mine in Emery County, Utah, in which a truck driver was crushed when a parking brake failed.

On Dec. 12, 2007, a contract truck driver suffered fatal crushing injuries between a front-end loader and a haul truck as he attempted to attach a tow chain to the haul truck. The loader rolled downhill when the parking brake failed to set because frozen moisture in the air reservoirs prevented the brake from properly applying.

"Had the front-end loader been properly inspected prior to its operation, the miner might still be alive," said Richard E. Stickler, acting assistant secretary of labor for mine safety and health. It is imperative that equipment operators be trained on proper maintenance procedures, especially during inclement weather. This is one of the things we stress in our annual "Winter Alert" program."

MSHA cited four contributory violations to the mine operator: a moderate negligence citation for failure to inspect the front-end loader before placing it in service, a high negligence citation for failure to maintain the loader in safe operating condition, a high negligence citation for failure to block the loader against motion while it was left unattended and an unwarrantable failure order with reckless disregard negligence for failure to provide site-specific hazard training to the victim. A fifth contributory citation was issued to the contractor for failure to provide site-specific hazard training to the victim.

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