Skip to content
PDF Version

COAL MINE FATALITY - On Friday, September 19, 2008, at approximately 1:15 a.m., a 53-year old bulldozer operator with 30 years experience was injured fatally when the bulldozer he was operating over traveled the highwall and fell approximately 190 feet. The victim was assigned to push spoil material toward the highwall.

Photo of accident scene described in paragraph above


Best Practices
  • Remain familiar with your work environment.
  • Implement safety precautions for adverse weather, lighting, and visibility conditions (provide light towers and ensure wipers, washers, and defrosters are working properly and window cleaning supplies are readily available).
  • Assure the dozer blade is kept between you and the edge when operating close to drop offs.
  • Ensure that personnel operating mobile equipment always wear seat belts.
  • Conduct pre-operational checks to identify any defects affecting safe equipment operation before placing into service.
  • Maintain equipment braking and steering systems in good repair.
  • Train all employees on proper work procedures and hazard recognition and avoidance.
  • 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 20th fatality reported in calendar year 2008 for coal mining. As of this date in 2007, there were 26 fatalities for coal mines. This is the 6th Machinery fatality in 2008. There were 2 Machinery fatalities for the same period in 2007.


    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