Dozer Safety Alert Follows Fatal Rollover

MSHA has posted a safety alert reminding bulldozer operators and employers about the hazards involved in dozer operations and the need for training, adequate illumination, seat belts, and proper maintenance. A bulldoze operator's death Oct. 22 after his machine rolled sideways down an 80-foot slope was the fourth accident in five weeks where an operator died or suffered life-threatening injuries on the job, the agency said.

The other three recent incidents were an Oct. 17 injury where a dozer tumbled down an embankment as it was being refueled; a Sept. 19 incident a dozer fell over a highwall to the bottom of a pit 190 feet below, and a Sept. 19 incident where the dozen flipped over and rolled 180 feet down a slope. Two other fatalities involving dozer operators occurred at mining operations in February and March 2008, MSHA said.

All employees should be trained in proper procedures and hazard recognition; the dozer's blade should be kept between the operator and the edge when operating close to highwalls; and pre-operational equipment checks are essential, according to the alert.

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