Skip to content
COAL MINE FATALITY - On Friday April 26, 2002, a 61-year old mechanic/welder, with 16 years of mining experience, was fatally injured in a powered haulage accident while fueling a Caterpillar D11 bulldozer in the pit of a surface coal mine. While fueling the bulldozer, the victim's service truck began to roll away, down a 6-8% grade toward a Liebherr haul truck. The victim ran after the service truck, mounted the running board, and apparently slipped off and fell under the rear tandem wheels. The truck continued another 35 feet, struck the front of the Liebherr haul truck, and stopped. The service truck traveled approximately 225 feet before hitting the haul truck. Wheel chocks were found at the site. They appeared to have been used, but did not prevent the truck from moving downhill.

Photo of Accident Scene

Best Practices

  • Do not leave mobile equipment unattended unless the brakes are set.

  • When mobile equipment is left unattended on a grade, turn the wheels into a bank or berm, or properly block them.

  • During task training, emphasize proper methods of blocking the wheels of parked equipment.

  • Perform tasks such as refueling on level ground, whenever possible.
  • 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 11th fatal accident reported in calendar year 2002 for the coal mining industry. As of this date in 2001, there were seven fatalities reported for the coal mining industry. This is the fourth fatal accident classified as a "Powered Haulage" accident in 2002. At this time in 2001, there were two fatal accidents classified as a "Powered Haulage" for 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