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COAL MINE FATALITY - On Saturday, August 4, 2007, a 25-year old section foreman sustained a fatal head injury while assisting electricians in replacing a torque shaft on a continuous mining machine. During the installation of the new torque shaft, the shaft became stuck in the operator's side of the cutting head motor. In an attempt to remove the shaft, the motor was run momentarily. As the motor continued to turn, the shaft contacted the motor and rotated, striking the victim in the head and face.

Photo Showing Accident Scene Described in Paragraph Above

Best Practices
  • Always disconnect electrical power connections, and lock-and-tag power receptacles to ensure machinery is disabled prior to repair or replacement of machine parts.
  • Always maintain a safe distance from any moving machine parts.
  • Always follow the equipment manufacturers recommended procedures for the removal and replacement of machine parts.
  • 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 11th fatality reported during calendar year 2007 in the coal mining industry. As of this date in 2006, there were 38 fatalities reported in coal mining. This is the second fatality classified as Machinery in 2007. At this time in 2006, there were three 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:
    Fatal Alert Bulletin Icon MSHA's Fatal Accident Investigation Report