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COAL MINE FATALITY - On Sunday, November 5, 2006, a 52-year old electrician with 21 years of mining experience was fatally injured while troubleshooting the trailing cable for a Marion 8200 dragline at a surface coal mine. The electrician was working at an electrical junction box that supplied power to the dragline when he contacted two 23,000 volt energized phases in the junction box. Incoming power to the junction box had been disconnected and locked out by the electrician. A diesel powered generator onboard the dragline was started and caused 480 volts to be back fed through onboard transformers, energizing the phases.

Photo of Accident Scene Described in Paragraph Above

Best Practices
  • Ensure that equipment is de-energized, locked out, and tagged before performing electrical work. Do not rely on someone else to do these things for you.
  • Thoroughly communicate to determine that it is appropriate to reset a breaker.
  • Ensure that electrical work is only performed by a qualified person or one trained to perform electrical work under the direct supervision of a qualified person.
  • Never assume that you know how a circuit is wired. Ask for help and/or consult a wiring diagram/schematic if you are unsure.
  • 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 45th fatality reported during calendar year 2006 in the coal mining industry. As of this date in 2005, there were 17 fatalities reported in coal mining. This is the second fatality classified as Electrical in 2006. At this time in 2005, there was one fatality 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:
    Fatal Alert Bulletin Icon MSHA's Fatal Accident Investigation Report