COAL MINE FATALITY -
On Monday, July 26, 1999, a mechanic was fatally injured and another one received serious injuries in a surface machinery accident. The victims were working from a raised position, approximately 40 feet above ground, in a manlift basket, which was positioned
directly under the mast of a dragline. The boom of the dragline had been lowered to a
horizontal position several days earlier, and the mast was being temporarily supported
with a metal I-beam structure, during a major repair operation. The victims were in the
process of preparing to attach the bridge strand lines (cables) to the mast. The temporary
structure supporting the mast shifted allowing the mast to drop several feet. As the mast
dropped, a cross member on the temporary structure struck the victims in the manlift
basket. One mechanic was pinned between the cross member and the railing on the
manlift, and sustained fatal injuries. The second mechanic was able to free himself and was
lowered to the ground.
Both the top and bottom of temporary supporting structures should be
secured in a manner that would prevent accidental movement.
A thorough examination of support structures should be conducted prior to
and periodically during any work being done on or around suspended equipment.
This is the 21st fatality reported in calendar year 1999 in the coal mining
industry. As of this date in 1998, there were 17 fatalities. This is the third
fatality classified as Machinery in 1999.
For more information:
MSHA's Fatal Accident Investigation Report [FTL99C21]