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COAL MINE FATALITY - On Saturday, July 19, 2003, a 27-year-old electrician, with 2 years and 9 months mining experience, was fatally injured in an electrical accident. The victim was repairing or splicing the No. 3 shuttle car's trailing cable. A separate trailing cable attached to the No. 1 shuttle car contained two damaged areas, each exposing different energized 480 VAC phase conductors. The damaged portions of the separate cable were near the location where the victim was working. It was preliminarily determined that the victim was electrocuted when he came in contact with electrical energy released by the damaged trailing cable. The cables were lying in a crosscut that was very wet and muddy.

Photo of Accident Scene Photo of Damaged Cable

Best Practices

  • Protect electrical cables from damage by hanging, shielding, or location, as appropriate to the situation.
  • Properly examine all cables for damage during required weekly examinations.
  • When repairing cables in the immediate vicinity of energized cable(s), take electrical measurements to test for the presence of unwanted electrical power, especially in wet and/or muddy areas.
  • Provide a substantial distance between energized cable(s) and the location where cable repairs will be performed. In wet and/or muddy mines this location should be dry.
  • 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 21st fatal accident reported in calendar year 2003 in the coal mining industry. As of this date in 2002, there were 17 fatalities reported in the coal mining industry. This is the fourth 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