Department of Labor
Mine Safety and Health Administration
Dozer/Stockpile Void Accident
threatening accident involving a D9N bulldozer recently occurred
at a District 8 area coal cleaning plant. The dozer was being
operated directly over the Number 3 Feeder for the raw coal
reclaim tunnel when the coal underneath the dozer collapsed into
a void. The dozer sank backwards and was engulfed in the void of
the feeder. The dozer operator remained in the cab of the machine
as it slid into the feeder. The feeder was not drawing coal from
the overlying surge pile due to a large cone-shaped void that had
developed above the feeder. The preparation plant had previously
not been in operation for nine days, and approximately 110,000
tons of coal had been stockpiled. Neither the feeder nor the
beltline conveyor was being operated at the time of the accident.
Due to compaction of the coal stockpile and removal of some coal
around the feeder, the walls of the void did not collapse around
the dozer. The dozer was lodged vertically in the void created by
collapse of the coal. The dozer operator, uninjured, was able to
open the cab door and climb up and over the vertically pitched
- Be aware of surge hole locations at all times. Overhead
markers or other effective means should be used.
- Always know which feeder is being operated and the location
of feeder points.
- Use equipment seat belts at all times.
- Establish and maintain a system of communication with all
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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.