May 20, 2009 | Dave Janney

Fatality Results in $50,000 fine

Here is a link to the story (click skip welcome screen):


“The state of West Virginia has fined a trucking company $50,000 for violations investigators say contributed to a fatal coal mining accident in February, a spokeswoman for the Office of Miners’ Health, Safety and Training said Tuesday.”

“State investigators found numerous problems with the truck’s brakes, according to an accident report issued Tuesday.”

“Three of the contributing violations involve the brakes. Among other things, part of the truck’s air brakes had been bypassed, reducing the amount of air available to operate the system, investigators said in the report. Investigators also found excessive wear to brakes on the truck and trailer, and one of the trailer’s rear brakes was not working at the time of the accident.”

There is more if you would like to read it, but the moral of the story is holes in the maintenance process apparently existed. 

How many times have you read an investigation report and found the cause of the accident to be “equipment failure”?  I’ve seen it many times.  The thing is, however, that usually when equipment fails, it is because people did not operate or maintain it properly, and equipment  becomes as easy scapegoat.  If you do a good investigation, you should find the human performance errors that led to the “equipment failure,” and you can then do a good root cause analysis and fix the problems.

Sometimes, before you can find your human performance problems, you need help troubleshooting the equipment failure.  You can rely on your experts’ past experience or tribal knowledge, but it is better to use a systematic process.

Equifactor® is an equipment troubleshooting process and just one of the optional tools available within the TapRooT® system.  If you would like to learn more, visit our website and register for the next course.

We have another great opportunity for those who would like to learn more about equipment failure – the Equipment Reliability and Maintenance Track at the TapRooT® Summit.  We hope to see you there.



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