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COAL MINE FATALITY - On December 11, 2008, at approximately 3:45 p.m. a contract electrician helper received fatal injuries while operating a Man-Lift between the 3rd and 4th floor of a preparation plant under construction. The lift platform had been positioned between two horizontal beams which placed the platform inside the plant. The platform became caught on the lower beam. When it was dislodged, the resulting sudden and violent movement of the platform caused fatal injuries to the operator.

Photograph of accident scene described in paragraph above


Best Practices
  • Instruct users of aerial lifts on hazard recognition and avoidance of unsafe conditions.
  • Train lift operators in safe operating procedures listed in the operator's manual.
  • Conduct pre-operational checks on all equipment. Report all defects affecting safety to a responsible person for correction.
  • Allow only authorized and qualified personnel to operate an aerial lift.
  • Do not use aerial lifts unless they have been serviced and maintained according to the manufacture's specifications and schedule.
  • Report equipment malfunctions and remove the equipment from service until repaired.
  • Never use on-board controls to free a lift-platform that is caught or otherwise prevented from normal motion by an adjacent structure.
  • Remove all personnel from lift platforms before attempting to free a platform using the ground controls.
  • Do not use tram functions to position the platform close to obstacles. Use boom function instead.
  • Do not use the high speed drive when in restricted or close quarters.
  • 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 28th coal mine fatality in calendar year 2008. In 2007, there were 33 coal mine fatalities for the same period. This is the 10th Machinery fatality for 2008. There were 4 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