Coal Mine Fatality - On Sunday, August 29, 2004, a 37-year old contractor employee with 3 years of mining experience was fatally injured while repairing a high voltage wire on a power pole. A repair to the 12,470 volt powerline was needed because the middle high-voltage phase had burned in two at a set of visible disconnects. The contractor foreman used a hotstick to open the three visible disconnects; however, the line side remained energized. The victim climbed approximately 25 feet up the power pole and repaired the broken wire. The foreman, standing on the ground watching the victim make the repair, observed the victim put all of his tools in his waist pouch. While walking toward the utility truck, the foreman heard an electrical arc, turned and saw the victim falling from the pole.
This is the 17th fatality reported in calendar year 2004 in the coal mining industry. As of this date in 2003, there were 22 fatalities reported in coal mining. This is the second fatality classified as Electrical in 2004. There were four Electrical fatalities at this time in 2003.
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:
MSHA's Fatal Accident Investigation Report