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COAL MINE FATALITY - On Wednesday, March 14, 2001, a 58-year old preparation-plant utility man, with 27 years experience, was fatally injured while he was performing clean up duties at a raw coal reclaim dump area. The victim was last seen at about 7:00 p.m., washing down a concrete pad at the mouth of a reclaim tunnel. There were no eyewitnesses to the accident. However, the victim either fell through an opening, measuring approximately 56 inches by 80 inches, in a platform located at the mouth of a reclaim tunnel, or entered the area through a coal feeder opening located in the raw coal stock pile. The victim was later discovered after being discharged from a raw coal silo.

Photo of Accident Scene    Photo of Accident Scene

Best Practices

  • Enclose all openings over conveyor belts that have the potential for a person to inadvertently fall through onto a moving conveyor belt.
  • Establish safe work positions free of fall hazards for persons performing wash down of surface facilities.
  • 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 4th fatal accident, reported in calendar year 2001, in the coal mining industry. As of this date in 2000, there were six fatalities reported in the coal mining industry. This is the first fatal accident, classified as Fall of Person, reported in the coal mining industry in 2001. At this time in 2000, there was one fatal accident, classified as Fall of Person, 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