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Department of Labor
Mine Safety and Health Administration

Accident Info-Gram
JULY 2002

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 and receptacle.
Battery and Plug
BEST PRACTICES
  • 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 unplugging batteries.
  • Wear gloves when plugging or unplugging batteries.
  • Thoroughly and frequently inspect battery connectors for damage, and repair promptly.

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This file was last updated on 01/28/2003

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.