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COAL MINE FATALITY - On Thursday, April 22, 2004, a 57-year old general inside laborer with 30 years mining experience was fatally injured when he came in contact with an underground belt conveyor system. The victim had been assigned belt cleaning duties and during the performance of these duties came in contact with the conveyor belt. After being carried approximately 9,000 feet by the conveyor system, the victim was found on the surface rock pile by the bulldozer operator.

Diagram of Accident Scene

Best Practices

  • Never remove coal spilled beneath unguarded conveyor belt drives and tailpieces while the conveyor is in motion.
  • Stay out of areas along a moving conveyor belt where clearance is restricted.
  • Cross moving conveyor belts only where suitable crossing facilities are provided.
  • Ensure all guards are adequate and securely in place.
  • Ensure that power is off and cannot be accidentally restored to machinery before any work is performed on such equipment.
  • Ensure that machinery is blocked against motion before performing maintenance or repairs.
  • Consider providing a visible or audible system to warn persons that the conveyor will be started.
  • 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 8th fatality reported in calendar year 2004 in the coal mining industry. As of the accident date in 2003, there were 12 fatalities reported in the coal mining industry. This is the 3rd fatality classified as Powered Haulage in 2004. At this time in 2003, there were 4 fatalities classified as Powered Haulage.

    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