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COAL MINE FATALITY - On Thursday, February 26, 2009, a 50-year old contractor with no mining experience was fatally injured when he fell from a step ladder. The victim was standing on one of the steps of a 10 foot step ladder while assisting a co-worker with the installation of a rolling steel overhead door. The two contractors were positioned on either side the door when it began to roll from the fully opened position. The door struck the ladder, causing the victim to fall, striking his head on the concrete pad. He was wearing a harness, but the lanyard was not anchored.

Photo of Accident Scene Described in the Paragraph Above


Best Practices
  • Conduct a Risk Assessment before beginning any task; evaluate the work procedures, identify all possible hazards, and take steps to perform the task safely. SLAM it. Stop, Look, Analyze, and Manage.
  • Position ladders for protection from moving objects, or being bumped or knocked over.
  • Never work beneath a suspended load.
  • Securely block equipment from motion when working around it.
  • Use fall protection and tie off where danger from falling exists.
  • Examine all tools, including ladders for defects and remove any defective tool from the work area. Assure that moving parts operate freely without binding or excessive play.
  • 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 third fatality reported in calendar year 2009 in the coal mining industry. As of this date in 2008, there were five fatalities reported in the coal mining industry. This is the first Slip or Fall of Person fatality in 2009. At this time in 2008, 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