Coal Mine Fatality - On Saturday, October 23, 2004, a 57-year old chief electrician with 40 years mining experience, sustained severe burn injuries while he and two other miners were installing transformers in a substation. They connected the primary side of the transformers to the incoming power wires, removed the grounding clamps, and energized the transformers. After about 15 minutes, they returned to connect the secondary side of the transformers. While the other miners went to the transformers, the chief mounted a small platform, and without de-energizing the transformers, attempted to reinstall the grounding clamps. He connected one grounding clamp to a grounded "L" bracket. With a second grounding clamp, he contacted an energized connection on the recloser. A high energy arc resulted that injured the victim. The victim expired on Friday, October 29 2004.
This is the 23rd fatality reported in calendar year 2004 in the coal mining industry. As of this date in 2003, there were 30 fatalities. This is the fourth fatality classified as Electrical in 2004.
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