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COAL MINE FATALITY - On October 22, 2003, at approximately 10:00 a.m., a 41-year-old continuous mining machine operator was fatally injured when he was pinched between the continuous mining machine and the coal rib. The victim was positioning the machine by remote control for an end-cut while second mining a coal pillar. As the continuous mining machine was being trammed toward the next cut, it pivoted to the right; crushing the victim between the cutting head and the rib of the outby coal pillar.

Diagram of Accident Scene

Best Practices

  • Ensure everyone is outside the machine's turning radius and in a safe location when starting and moving such equipment.
  • Stop equipment while hanging or positioning trailing cables.
  • Ensure that continuous mining machine operators lower the conveyor boom and ripper head, as far as possible, prior to moving the machine.
  • Ensure that a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) is in place before tramming the remote controlled continuous miner to another entry or crosscut.
  • Avoid pinch points between the rib and machinery during tramming operations.
  • 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 27th fatality reported in calendar year 2003 in the coal mining industry. As of the accident date in 2002, there were 23 fatalities reported in the coal mining industry. This is the 3rd fatality classified as Underground Machinery in 2003. At this time in 2002, there were 2 fatalities classified as Underground 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