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COAL MINE FATALITY - On Friday, June 13, 2003, a 41-year old maintenance foreman, with 15 years experience, was fatally injured while working on the surface at an underground coal mine. The victim and two other maintenance foremen were working at the substation to resolve a mine power problem. The victim had removed fuses from disconnects feeding power to a bank of capacitors located on top of the substation. While kneeling on top of the substation reinstalling the fuses for the station capacitor bank, the victim inadvertently came into contact with either energized 12,470-volt power cable or the top of the capacitor bank.

Photo of Accident Scene  Photo of Accident Scene

Best Practices

  • De-energize and ground all high voltage phase leads when not necessary to perform work.
  • Use properly inspected and maintained safety equipment.
  • Perform electrical work on high voltage circuits by properly trained, qualified, and experienced persons.
  • Maintain a working area free of extraneous materials.
  • Develop a work plan that includes hazard analysis before conducting repair work.
  • 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 sixteenth fatal accident reported in calendar year 2003 in the coal mining industry. As of this date in 2002, there were 14 fatalities reported in the coal mining industry. This is the third fatal accident classified as electrical reported in the coal mining industry in 2003. At this time in 2002, there were four fatal accidents, classified as electrical, 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