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COAL MINE FATALITY - On Thursday, August 18, 2005, a 50-year old foreman with 26 years of mining experience was fatally injured while operating a Caterpillar D5M bulldozer. The foreman was using the bulldozer to clear trees on top of a 24-foot high embankment to facilitate construction of a haul road. While he was pushing material toward the edge, the bulldozer traveled over the crest of the embankment, coming to rest on its side.

Photo of Accident Scene

  • Stop, Look, Analyze, and Manage (SLAM) each task.
  • Ensure that miners wear seatbelts when operating mobile equipment.
  • Prior to working near embankments, check the crest and face of the slope for brows, rutting, cracking, slumping, or other indications that the material near the edge may be too weak to support the equipment.
  • Conduct clearing and grubbing above highwalls, pits, or slopes at a safe distance from the crest. The crest should not be advanced into an area which has not been cleared. Large roots can extend several feet from a stump, which can remove or soften ground during extraction.
  • Perform additional checks during the work shift to ensure ground conditions have not changed when the edge of a slope is not viewable from the operator's position.
  • Inspect ground conditions from above and at the toe of the slope.
  • 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 13th fatality reported during calendar year 2005 in the coal mining industry. As of this date in 2004, there were 17 fatalities reported in coal mining. This is the first fatality classified as Machinery in 2005. There were five fatalities in this category at this time 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:
    Fatal Alert Bulletin Icon MSHA's Fatal Accident Investigation Report