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COAL MINE FATALITY - On Wednesday, March 12, 2008, a 47-year old mechanic/contractor with 21 years of experience was fatally injured while attempting to remove a front guard assembly (belly pan) from a bulldozer. The victim was positioned beneath the bulldozer, removing mounting bolts from the bulldozer guard. The guard was supported by a chain attached to a remote-operated truck-mounted crane. As the bolts were removed, the chain support slipped and the guard fell.

Photo of Accident Scene Described in the paragraph above


Best Practices
  • Always follow the equipment manufacturer's recommended maintenance procedures when conducting repairs to machinery.
  • Install blocking materials before mounting bolts are removed from machinery components which may fall during disassembly.
  • Conduct training for miners assigned to new work tasks to ensure they are aware of the health and safety aspects and safe work procedures related to the assigned tasks.
  • 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 sixth fatality reported in calendar year 2008 in the coal mining industry. As of this date in 2007, there were four fatalities reported in the coal mining industry. This is the second Machinery fatality in 2008. At this time in 2007, 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