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COAL MINE FATALITY - On Tuesday, December 5, 2000, at 10:02 a.m., a 45-year-old environmental monitoring technician, with 20 years mining experience, sustained fatal injures from a fall while he was in the process of readying equipment to collect samples from the exhaust emission stack of a thermal dryer. The victim was preparing to lift sampling equipment with a rope, onto a platform located 134 feet above ground level. As he was removing ice from the platform with his feet, a 24" x 28" section of grating on which he was standing collapsed, causing him to fall to the ground. The grating was severely corroded, and broke where it contacted a support beam, near the exhaust emission stack.

Fatal Alert Bulletin Drawing

Best Practices

  • Travelways and platforms at surface installations shall be of substantial construction and maintained in good condition.

  • Examine travelways and platforms both visually and physically before walking or standing on them.

  • Always position yourself in a safe location when removing ice or debris that may conceal a hazardous travelway condition.

  • Even if areas are not traveled frequently, they should have periodic inspections by a certified person to eliminate hazardous conditions.

  • 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 35th fatality reported in calendar year 2000 in the coal mining industry. As of this date in 1999, there were 31 fatalities. This is the 3rd accident classified as fall of person reported in the coal mining industry in 2000. As of this date in 1999, there were 2 fatal accidents classified as fall of person reported in the coal mining industry.

    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