The accident investigation determined that the truck was traveling at too high a rate of speed to allow it to negotiate a sharp curve near the bottom of the haul road, causing the fuel truck to overturn and skid to a stop on its top, fatally injuring the driver.
An analysis in the accident – which occurred on March 17, 2015 -- was conducted to identify the most basic cause of the accident that was correctable through reasonable management controls.
“The contractor’s policies, programs, and procedures were not sufficient to assure the truck driver maintained full control of his vehicle while in motion, descending a steeply inclined mine haul road that included sharp curves and while the vehicle was fully loaded,” MSHA said.
The mine operator has revised their policies and guidelines for contract truckers operating on mine property.
The written policies include, security log forms that have been modified to log seatbelt use each shift, the installation of high visibility seatbelt covers, the performance of quarterly truck audits and daily seatbelt audits by Alpha Natural Resources (the affiliate of Republic’s parent company), and the installation of a camera system at each security post to assist the security officer in verifying the use of seatbelts.
To better ensure compliance with these requirements, the contract operators are required to read, sign, and date to acknowledge acceptance of these policies. All contractors have been trained in these new policies and guidelines.