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COAL MINE FATALITY - On September 17, 2003, a driller with 7-years mining experience and a bulldozer operator with 10-years mining experience were fatally injured when their man-trip was crushed by a 190-ton capacity haul truck. After approaching from the haul truck's right side, the Ford E-350 van had stopped immediately in front of the haul truck to drop off some supplies. The haul truck moved forward, pushed the van over, and crushed it under the truck's right front tire. The driver of the van, a backhoe operator, was seriously injured.

Photo of Accident Scene

Best Practices

  • Ensure, by signal or other means, that all persons are clear before moving equipment.
  • When approaching large mobile equipment, do not proceed until you make eye contact with, or obtain approval from, the equipment operator.
  • Minimize situations where smaller vehicles need to approach large haul trucks (e.g., arrange for haul truck drivers to have supplies available at the pre-shift meeting place, rather than having supplies delivered to the truck).
  • Do not park smaller vehicles in a large truck's potential path of movement.
  • Equip smaller vehicles with flags or strobe lights, positioned high enough to be seen from the cabs of haulage trucks.
  • Equip larger vehicles with cameras to monitor blind spots and ensure that they are properly used (refer to
  • Stagger the times that vehicles leave assembly areas and separate the parking and travel areas for larger and smaller vehicles.
  • 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.

    These are the 25th and 26th fatalities reported in calendar year 2003 in the coal mining industry. As of the accident date in 2002, there were 22 fatalities reported in the coal mining industry. These are the eighth and ninth fatalities classified as powered haulage in 2003. There were seven fatalities classified as powered haulage at this time in 2002.

    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