COAL MINE FATALITY - On Tuesday, July 18, 2006, a 28-year old highwall drill operator with 6 years of total mining experience was fatally injured when he was struck by rock falling from the highwall. The rock fall measured 32 feet high by 19 feet wide by 7 feet thick.
Position the operators' compartment as far away as possible from the highwall, preferably at least � the height of the highwall. Examine highwalls and work areas thoroughly and scale any loose material from the highwall. Consider the location and orientation of hill seams (open joints) and other fracture planes when examining highwalls. Remove or avoid hazards. Thoroughly train personnel in the requirements of the ground control plan. Conduct blasting in a manner that maintains the integrity of the highwall.
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This is the 35th fatality reported during calendar year 2006 in the coal mining industry. As of this date in 2005, there were ten fatalities reported in coal mining. This is the third fatality classified as Fall of Face/Rib/Highwall in 2006. At this time in 2005, there were no fatalities in this classification.
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