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COAL MINE FATALITY - On Wednesday, October 4, 2000, a 50 year old bulldozer operator, with 22 years mining experience, was fatally injured when the Caterpillar D11N bulldozer he was operating backed over the edge of a 95 ft. highwall. The dozer was backing up from a maintenance area to a drill bench site when the dozer traveled over the highwall. The victim was ejected from the cab of the bulldozer and died as a result of his injuries.

Photo of Dozer in pit

Best Practices

  • Adequate berms should be constructed and maintained along the outer edge of elevated work areas where there is a danger of traveling over highwalls.

  • Equipment operators should be familiar with their working environment at all times. Safety precautions should be taken to compensate for different weather and lighting conditions.

  • Mobile equipment operators should wear seat belts whenever the machine is in motion.
  • 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 30th fatality reported in calendar year 2000 in the coal mining industry. As of this date in 1999, there were 30 fatalities. This is the 8th accident classified as machinery reported in the coal mining industry in 2000. As of this date in1999, there were 3 fatal accidents classified as machinery.

    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