COAL MINE FATALITY - On Friday, March 6, 2009, a dragline oiler with 5 years of mining experience, was fatally injured at a surface lignite mine. While the dragline was being deadheaded or walked to a new cut in the pit, the oiler needed to add extra grease to the cam slide area of the walking mechanism. He walked from one shoe to the other through the dragline house, and was last seen standing on the end of the catwalk on the shoe. The victim was found in a pinch point between the shoe and the dragline house, approximately 10 feet from where he was last seen.
Persons should not be on the walking shoes of draglines while the machine is walking. Persons should only board or dismount the dragline house after verbally communicating with the dragline operator and the operator has brought the dragline to a full stop and set the brakes. All miners who work on the dragline should have a positive means of verbal communication, such as a radio, with the dragline operator. Extra grease during walking should be applied to the cam assembly by remote and/or automatic means without persons needing to perform this work from the dragline shoe.
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This is the fourth 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 Machinery fatality in 2009. At this time in 2008, 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:
MSHA's Fatal Accident Investigation Report