Skip to content
PDF Version

COAL MINE FATALITY - On Thursday, June 10, 2004, a 52-year old heavy equipment operator with 26 years of experience was fatally injured at a surface coal mine while operating a refuse truck. The truck, loaded with clay dirt, was descending a grade from the crest of an impounding structure. The driver lost control of the truck during the descent. The truck left the roadway, traveled across a deep ditch, and overturned. The driver was found along the ditch, approximately 60 feet uphill from the truck.

Photo of Accident Scene

Best Practices

  • Never operate a truck or moving machine without using a seat belt.
  • Never attempt to jump from a moving truck or machine.
  • Ensure that seat belts are in good condition and operating properly.
  • Conduct pre-operational checks to identify any defects that may affect the safe operation of equipment before it is placed into service. Pay special attention to ensuring the brakes are properly adjusted and there are no significant air leaks.
  • Operate loaded trucks in an appropriate gear for the grade, load, and speed.
  • Never operate a truck where the brakes will not stop it.
  • Never rely on engine brakes and transmission retarders as substitutes for keeping brakes properly maintained.
  • 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 11th 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 5th 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