Department of Labor
Mine Safety and Health Administration
Shuttle car operator pinned between continuous miner tail and rib
On March 13, 2003, at about 12:45 p.m., a close-call accident occurred at an underground mine in District 8. A shuttle-car operator was pinned between the tail of a continuous miner and a coal rib. The continuous-miner operator backed the continuous miner out of the No. 2 face area and, with the help of the shuttle-car operator, moved the continuous miner's cable out of the way. This was done in preparation for a move to the No. 7 entry. The continuous-miner operator positioned himself in front of the continuous miner and the shuttle-car operator positioned himself behind the tail of the continuous miner. In preparation for a turn, the tail of the continuous miner had been swung to the right. After observing the cable lying on the floor next to the head of the continuous miner, the continuous-miner operator engaged the forward tram. At the same time he glanced back to the rear of the continuous miner and saw the shuttle-car operator running towards the tail of the continuous miner. (He was going to move a loop of cable.) The continuous-miner operator immediately released the tram levers, but the continuous miner had already moved forward approximately one foot and trapped the shuttle-car operator. To free the shuttle-car operator, the continuous-miner operator immediately slewed the continuous miner's tail away from the rib. The shuttle-car operator collapsed. After being treated for suspected injuries, the victim was transported to the surface and, subsequently, spent a night in the hospital. He did not receive any substantial injuries.
- Always be sure that everyone is in a safe location when moving equipment.
- Do not position yourself anywhere beside the continuous miner during tramming operations - Stay Out of the Danger Zone!
- Ensure that persons are beyond the continuous miner's turning radius during remote control tramming.
- Notify machinery operators of your presence or intentions when approaching equipment.
This information was provided by concerned
miners in an effort to eliminate accidents. Accident or "close
call" information within District 8 may be shared by contacting
the MSHA office at (812) 882-7617.