June 20, 2022 Fatality – Final Report | Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA)

June 20, 2022 Fatality – Final Report

Accident Report: Fatality Reference

June 20, 2022 Fatality

JUNE 20, 2022 – FINAL REPORT.PDF (1.08 MB)



(Crushed, Broken Granite)

Fatal Slip or Fall of Person Accident
June 20, 2022

Explosive Contractors Inc. (6EJ)
Hollister, Missouri


3M Little Rock Industrial Mineral Products
3M Company
Little Rock, Pulaski County, Arkansas
ID No. 03-00426

Accident Investigators

Michael Tefertiller
Supervisory Mine Safety and Health Inspector

Dwight Shields
Supervisory Mine Safety and Health Inspector

Originating Office
Mine Safety and Health Administration
Dallas District
1100 Commerce Street, Room 462
Dallas, TX 75242
William O’Dell, District Manager


On June 20, 2022, at approximately 11:30 a.m., Donald Saul, a 57 year-old driller with approximately two and a half years of mining experience, died when he fell approximately 30 feet from the lower section of the drill mast over a highwall, landing on broken rock and boulders (shot rock) from previous blasting activities.

The accident occurred because the contractor did not assure that the driller used fall protection while working where there was a danger of falling.


3M Company owns and operates the 3M Little Rock Industrial Mineral Products (3M Little Rock) mine.  This mine is a surface granite quarry located near Little Rock, Pulaski County, Arkansas.  The mine employs 135 miners and operates one ten-hour shift, five days per week.  The processing facility operates various shifts with multiple crews, 24 hours per day, five days per week.  

3M Little Rock mines the material in lifts and every lift is approximately 50 feet in depth and has a bench width of approximately 20 feet.  Front-end loaders load material from the lifts into haul trucks that transport the material to the processing facility.  After the material is crushed and sized, trains transport the material to the final processing area where it is stockpiled and stored for sale to the roofing industry.
3M Company contracted Explosive Contractors Inc. (ECI) to perform drilling and blasting at the 3M Little Rock mine.  ECI employs 45 persons and works at multiple mining operations.  ECI blasted material at the 3M Little Rock mine before it was loaded into the haul trucks.  Saul was an employee of ECI.

The principal management officials at 3M Little Rock at the time of the accident were:

Chris Colley    Quarry Manager
Vincent Varner    Plant Manager
David Loyko    Quarry Supervisor
The principal management officials for ECI at the time of the accident were:

Todd Braden    Operations Manager
George Aday    Drilling Supervisor

The Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) completed the last regular safety and health inspection at this mine on October 25, 2021.  The 2021 non-fatal days lost incident rate for the 3M Little Rock mine was 4.75, compared to the national average of 1.20 for mines of this type.


On June 20, 2022, at 6:37 a.m., Saul started his shift by clocking in at the office building at the mine.  Saul drove to the quarry area and conducted a pre-operational inspection of the drill, which was located on the lower level of the quarry.  Saul transported the drill to the D Lift in the southeast area of the quarry.  At 9:13 a.m., Saul called David Loyko, Quarry Supervisor for 3M Company, on his cell phone and asked for a ride from the drill location back to Saul’s pickup truck.  At approximately 9:15 a.m., Saul called from his cell phone George Aday, Drilling Supervisor for ECI, and informed Aday that he had a dislodged drill steel and needed to know how to hold the carousel gates open manually.  According to Aday, as Aday began to explain the procedure, Saul said he remembered and ended the conversation. At approximately 9:20 a.m., Loyko picked up Saul and took him to his pickup truck.  When Loyko arrived at Saul’s pickup truck, Saul asked Loyko to help him get a drill steel back into the drill rack, and both returned to the drill location.  Loyko stated that Saul shook the mast with the hydraulics and moved the drill steel back into the drill rack.  Loyko left after observing the drill steel in the drill rack.  Saul began positioning the drill for the first hole in the drill pattern.  Loyko left the D Lift at approximately 10:10 a.m. to return to his office.

— Read on www.msha.gov/data-reports/fatality-reports/2022/june-20-2022-fatality/final-report


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