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COAL MINE FATALITY - On Thursday, October 16, 2008, a 45-year old continuous mining machine operator was fatally injured in a crushing type accident. The operator was crushed between the cable horn on the radio-controlled continuous mining machine and the coal rib. The victim was apparently positioning the machine while standing adjacent to the cable horn. The coal seam height in this area was measured at 5 � feet. There were no witnesses to the accident.

Diagram of accident scene described in paragraph above    Photo of accident scene described in paragraph above


Best Practices
  • Install and maintain electronic proximity detection devices. See the proximity detection single source page on the MSHA website.
  • Develop proactive programs, policies, and procedures for starting and tramming remote-controlled continuous mining machines.
  • Train all production crews and management in the programs, policies, and procedures and ensure that they are followed.
  • Ensure that mining machine operators are in a safe location while tramming the continuous mining machine from place to place or in the entry during cutting and loading.
  • Ensure everyone is outside the machine turning radius before starting or moving the equipment.
  • 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 23rd 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 8th 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