Department of Labor
Mine Safety and Health Administration
Battery Plug Arcs and Injures Miner
A non-fatal electrical burn accident occurred on July 2, 2002, at
an underground mine in District 8. The victim had changed
batteries on his Stamler BH 20 coal hauler. He was in the process
of connecting the discharged batteries to a charger. After
inserting the charger cable-connector into the battery
receptacle, the victim tightened the connector ring of the
charger plug. The victim believed that the connection ring needed
to be tighter. So he used his left hand (burnt hand) to wiggle
the cable where it entered the back of the plug-connector
combination. At the same time, he used his right hand to tighten
the connector ring further. As the operator was moving the
charger cable, an electrical arc occurred inside the battery
plug. The victim immediately released the cable and plug. Then a
second electrical arc occurred. The second arc was more intense
and larger than the first. The first electrical arc caused a
first-degree burn to the victim's hand. Investigators found the
leads stretched on both ends of the charger cable. This damage
was not visible until investigators disassembled the charger plug
- Remember that joined battery connectors will cause the
battery to supply electrical power to charging leads and
connectors although the charger is de-energized.
- Turn off chargers at their control panel before plugging or
- Wear gloves when plugging or unplugging batteries.
- Thoroughly and frequently inspect battery connectors for
damage, and repair promptly.
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.