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COAL MINE FATALITY - On Wednesday, November 21, 2001, a fatal machinery accident claimed the life of a 38 year old continuous mining machine operator. The operator had completed mining in a crosscut, and was backing the continuous miner from the No. 3 entry to the No. 4 entry, to allow roof bolting equipment access to the area which was mined. The operator was found pinned between the cutting head of the continuous mining machine and the out by coal rib.

Photo of Continuous Miner

Best Practices

  • Always be sure that everyone is in a safe location when stating the equipment.

  • Equipment should be deenergized before any work is done on the equipment.

  • Do not position yourself anywhere beside the continuous miner during tramming operations.

  • Ensure that persons are beyond the continuous miner's turning radius during remote control tramming.
  • 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 39th fatal accident, reported in calendar year 2001, in the coal mining industry. As of this date in 2000, there were 33 fatalities reported in the coal mining industry. This is the third fatal accident, classified as machinery accidents, reported in the coal mining industry in 2001. At this time in 2000, there were ten fatal accidents, classified as machinery accidents, 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