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COAL MINE FATALITY - On Sunday November 4, 2007, a 42-year old Floor Walker/Mechanic with 17 years experience fell 24 feet from the third floor of a preparation plant to the ground floor. During the replacement of an 8-inch media pipe, the victim dropped an impact wrench onto a 6-inch ledge located along the inside of the plant wall. While attempting to retrieve the impact wrench, the victim crossed beyond the handrail and fell. The victim died on January 2, 2008, from injuries suffered in the fall.

Photo of Accident Site


Best Practices
  • Use appropriate fall protection equipment when a falling hazard exists.
  • Stop, Look, Analyze, and Manage (SLAM) each step of a task to identify and address all potential hazards.
  • Establish safe work procedures and train personnel before beginning the task.
  • 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 33rd fatality reported in calendar year 2007 in the coal mining industry. As of this date in 2006, there were 44 fatalities reported in the coal mining industry. This is the seventh fatality classified as Slip or Fall of Person in 2007. During 2006, 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:
    Fatal Alert Bulletin Icon MSHA's Fatal Accident Investigation Report