Skip to content
PDF Version

Coal Mine Fatality - On Friday, October 1, 2004, a 51-year-old front-end loader operator with 29 years mining experience was fatally burned when a fire developed on the front end loader he was operating. The victim was in the process of dumping a bucket of refuse rock on a stockpile. A nearby truck driver noticed a significant oil leak on the front-end loader and radioed the victim. The victim dumped the loaded bucket, backed up, and then drove forward. The loader then burst into flames. The truck driver used several portable fire extinguishers before the fire was extinguished. The fire was located between the operator's cab and the engine compartment and spread into the cab from an open rear access door.

Photo of Accident Scene Photo of Accident Scene

Best Practices

  • Reduce or eliminate the potential for hydraulic fluid discharging through hose failures onto hot engine components by installing a solid shroud or shield to deflect hydraulic fluid away from these hot surfaces.
  • Ensure that adequate pre-operational checks on mobile equipment are performed and that all defects affecting safety are recorded and reported. Such defects must be corrected before the equipment is used.
  • Thoroughly examine all hoses, fittings, and gaskets and replace according to manufacturer's recommendations.
  • Take equipment out of service immediately if a hazardous fluid leakage is observed.
  • Install a fire suppression system on all mobile equipment to increase the likelihood of a safe escape should a fire develop.
  • 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 fatality reported in the coal mining industry in calendar year 2004, and this is the 8th fatality classified as powered haulage. As of October 1, 2003, there were 27 fatalities.

    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