Provide training to every person that works on or near surge piles to alert them of the associated dangers and to the stipulations in the safety program.
Indicate the location of feeder points with an overhead marker and provide an indicator to show if the feeder is in use.
Use equipment with a fully enclosed cab equipped with high strength windows. Provide the window glass with structural support to prevent it from being pushed into the cab by outside pressure.
Establish a system of communication so that the equipment operators working on the surge pile are aware of plans to open or close feeders. Every feeder should be installed with the ability to fully close and open the feeder gates.
Permit no one to go near the surge pile if a cone is not visible on the surge pile. Never push material to an active feeder until a cone begins to form on the surface of the surge pile and always push perpendicular to the cone.
Ensure that mine management is notified immediately if a cone does not form above an activated feeder. This is an indication that a void has formed above the feeder and corrective actions must be taken to eliminate the void.
This is the 10th fatality reported in calendar year 1999 in the coal mining industry. As of this date in 1998, there were 9 fatalities. This is the first fatality classified as Machinery in 1999.
For more information:
MSHA's Fatal Accident Investigation Report [FTL99C10]