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COAL MINE FATALITY - On June 9, 2003, a 49-year old supervisor with 29 years mining experience was fatally injured when he was thrown from the elevated bucket of a Simon-Telect 42-foot aerial bucket truck. The victim and two other miners were dismantling a de-energized electrical substation on the surface area of an underground mine. To secure a steel "I-Beam" structure, a nylon rope was attached between the bucket of the aerial lift and the steel structure. After the steel structure was disconnected from the substation, the rope broke, causing the aerial bucket to shift suddenly, throwing the victim out of the bucket. The victim fell 28 feet 11 inches to the ground. The steel "I-Beam" structure then rolled onto the raised frame of the aerial bucket truck.

Photo of Accident Scene

Best Practices

  • Use appropriate fall protection, including safety harnesses and safety lines, where there is a danger of falling.
  • Use equipment for its intended purpose and within the design specifications of the manufacturer.
  • Conduct pre-operational checks on equipment prior to operation and ensure that outriggers and equipment are ready for intended use.
  • Size ropes/slings for maximum load applications and protect them from being cut when a load is applied.
  • Ensure that all workers are properly trained in the task to be preformed, such as hoisting, rigging, equipment design capabilities, etc.
  • 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 14th fatality reported in calendar year 2003 in the coal mining industry. As of the accident date in 2002, there were 14 fatalities reported in the coal mining industry. This is the second fatality classified as machinery in 2003. At this time in 2002, there was one fatality classified as machinery.

    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