Department of Labor
Mine Safety and Health Administration
Recently, a potentially fatal accident occurred at a District 8
underground mine when a continuous miner operator was struck in
the throat by a piece of 5/8 inch chain that broke under a load
while being pulled on. He was hospitalized with a lacerated
windpipe. The accident occurred when the injured miner was
helping pull free a continuous mining machine that was stuck in
the soft mine floor/bottom. The inby area was on a decline,
pitching to the right, causing the mining machine to slide to the
right side of the entry. A diesel scoop and two ram cars were
chained together and to the continuous miner to assist the
machine as it attempted to tram backwards and up the inclined
area of the entry. The chain that was attached to the diesel
scoop and the back bumper of the continuous miner broke and
struck the employee, injuring him. The chain broke when the scoop
and two ram cars were put into reverse. All three employees had
positioned themselves in an unsafe workplace location.
- Use the proper tools and equipment designed for the job.
Chains should not be used in this manner.
- When performing work involving the use of cables or wire
ropes for pulling heavy loads, choose a safe location and
stay clear of the danger
- Assure that equipment and tools are used within their rated
- Always wear suitable protective equipment, including eye
protection or safety glasses.
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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.