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Operator dies from touching energised heavy vehicle

CAT 770 truck
CAT 770 truck

A mine employee passed away after coming into contact with an electrified dump truck.

Authorities recently investigated how a resources worker became fatally electrocuted after touching an energised heavy vehicle.

Javier Regalado-Cano’s CAT 770 tray rubbed up against 13,800 volt phase-to-phase power lines while being lowered at the Greenbrier mine about 3:45pm on 6 February 2023. The driver exited the cabin to extinguish a suspected brake fire on the vehicle’s left rear dual tyres.

“Regalado told [excavator operator Jeremy] Hattenhuaer that he would lower the bed and move his haul truck in order to examine the tyres. Hattenhuaer walked towards his hydraulic excavator when he heard Regalado yell at him. When he turned around Regalado was pointing up at his haul truck’s bed where it was touching the power lines. Hattenhuaer yelled ‘no’ as Regalado touched the energised handrail of the haul truck and fell to the ground,” the Mine Safety and Health Administration said in its final report.

“At 4:03pm paramedics arrived and relieved mine personnel administering CPR. Lifesaving efforts continued as paramedics transported Regalado to … hospital. On February 7 2023 Erin Kindy, advanced practice registered nurse, pronounced Regalado dead at 9:19am.”

Investigators concluded the mine operator did not de-energise or take other precautionary measures while mobile equipment operated near energised power lines.

They made the following recommendations:

  • install warning devices for the power lines
  • install suitable danger signs visible from all approaches for all the major high-voltage overhead power lines
  • de-energise or take other precautionary measures when mobile equipment was operating near energised power lines.

Click here to read the full report.

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