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COAL MINE FATALITY - On Wednesday, February 27, 2002, a 43-year old truck driver, employed by an independent trucking company, was fatally injured while loading an over-the-road haul truck at a surface load-out of an underground coal mine. The driver had loaded coal into both of the 20-ton, bottom-dump trailers that were connected to the truck, but coal had spilled over the side of the second trailer. The driver got out of the truck to check the spillage, setting the tractor brakes but not the trailer brakes. While he was outside, the truck began moving down the road that had an approximate 6% grade. The driver attempted to re-enter the truck and was thrown from the truck, and then hit by this same truck. The truck traveled approximately 200 feet before striking a hillside and coming to a rest. The driver had about one year of experience as a truck driver, and this was his first trip to the load-out where the accident occurred.

Photo of Accident Scene

Best Practices

  • Set all brakes before dismounting or leaving a truck.

  • Know the truck's capabilities, operating ranges, load-limits and safety features.

  • Provide hazard training for all new drivers at each mine site and load-out facility.

  • Provide task training for all new task preformed by a miner.

  • Block wheels to prevent movement when parking trucks on a steep grade.

  • Know and understand safe self-loading procedures thoroughly.
  • 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 8th fatal accident reported in calendar year 2002 for the coal mining industry. As of this date in 2001, there was one fatality reported for the coal mining industry. This is the second fatal accident classified as a "Powered Haulage" accident in 2002. At this time in 2001, there was one fatal accident classified as a "Powered Haulage" accident 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