Skip to content
PDF Version

MSHA Job Safety Tips


Many haulage accidents have occurred at truckbuilt stockpiles and spoil piles of surface mines. Often the cause of these accidents was that the area near the edge of the slope or pile, especially near a steepened slope, was not strong enough to support the weight of the loaded haul truck. Discussions with miners indicate that a large number of nearmisses also occurred.



Realize that the area near the edge of a steep slope may not support the weight of a loaded haul truck.

DON'T dump over the edge of a pile in an area where the pile has been loaded out at the toe, or otherwise oversteepened.
DO.... Dump back from the edge of the slope. A good rule of thumb used by some operators is to dump a minimum distance of one truck length back from the edge of the pile; or any indication of cracking/settlement.
DO.... Wear your seat belt.
DO.... Check the dump area, before dumping the first load at the beginning of the shift, for cracks, for slopes steeper than the material's angle of repose, and for other signs that it may not support the weight of the haul truck.

DON'T drive on questionable areas.
DO.... Maintain adequate berms or bumper blocks.

DON'T rely on a berm or bumper block to stop the vehicle.
DO.... Back up slowly and come to a gradual stop at the dump point.

DON'T come to an abrupt stop.
DO.... Keep the top of stockpiles sloped slightly upgrade or level so that trucks are backing up a slight grade to reach the dump point.
DO.... Back up from the driver's side or perpendicular to the edge of the slope or bumper block, and avoid backing from the off side.
DO.... Remember that trucks going over spoil/stockpiles continue to be a common cause of injuries and fatalities.
DO.... Set dump brakes, position transmission to neutral prior to dumping.
DO.... Inspect the dump area for overhead obstructions and power wires.

DON'T be the next accident victim.

U.S. Department of Labor
Mine Safety and Health Administration