COAL MINE FATALITY
- On Saturday, April 20, 1996, a continuous mining
machine operator and two other miners were installing a belt drive off of the main belt line.
The miner operator was using a 5-ton ratchet-type jack to raise the belt drive structure to
level it. Using a 59-inch length of 7/8-inch drill steel as a lever, the miner operator was
apparently jacking the belt drive upwards, when either the drill steel slipped or the jack
malfunctioned causing the drill steel to "kick". The drill steel hit the continuous mining
machine operator on the right side of his head with a great amount of force and inflicted
This is the 15th coal mine fatality in 1996. As of April 20 of last year, there had been
12 fatalities. This is the first death classified as OTHER (Hand Tools) in 1996.
Photograph of the accident scene with the jack positioned beneath the belt drive
For more information: MSHA's Fatal Accident Investigation Report [FTL96C15]