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COAL MINE FATALITY - On Wednesday, September 6, 2000 a 56 year old bulldozer operator, with 37 years mining experience, slipped and fell while exiting the operator's compartment of a Model 355 Komatsu bulldozer. The victim apparently lost his footing and fell approximately 6 feet to the ground. The victim received injuries to his neck and was immediately transported to a nearby hospital and later to the University of Kentucky Medical Center where he was treated for the neck injuries and was subsequently released. The victim's condition deteriorated and on September 23, 2000, seventeen days after the initial accident, he was re-admitted to the hospital where he died that same day as a result of complications deriving from what is believed to be a blood clot.

Best Practices

  • Always use handrails when mounting or dismounting equipment with elevated work stations.

  • Always make sure of foot placement on elevated surfaces before dismounting equipment or exiting operator's compartments.

  • Always maintain 3 points of contact (two hands and one foot or two feet and one hand) when climbing onto or dismounting equipment.
  • More Information
    E-mail Suggestion for Accident Prevention Program
    Submit your own suggestion for a remedy to prevent this type of accident in the future.
    Please specify if you wish your submission to be anonymous or whether your name may be used. Please include the year of the fatality and the fatality number.

    This is the 28th fatality reported in calendar year 2000 in the coal mining industry. As of this date in 1999, there were 25 fatalities. This is the 2nd accident classified as slip and fall reported in the coal mining industry in 2000. As of this date in1999, there were 2 fatal accidents classified as slip and fall.

    The information provided in this notice is based on preliminary data ONLY and does not represent final determinations regarding the nature of the incident or conclusions regarding the cause of the fatality.

    For more information:
    Fatal Alert Bulletin Icon MSHA's Fatal Accident Investigation Report