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COAL MINE FATALITY - On Tuesday, October 27, 2009, a 56 year old trackman with 25 years of mining experience was fatally injured. While the hoist was traveling up the slope, the hoist rope broke. This allowed the brake/mantrip car, mine locomotive and loaded rail car to run away down a 16 degree, 1,750 foot slope. The victim was at the bottom of the slope. Two miners were in the brake/mantrip car when the rope broke. They jumped out of the car and received non-life threatening injuries.

Photo of Accident Scene Described in the Paragraph Above


Best Practices
  • Ensure persons working or traveling in the slope are positioned in safe locations while the hoist is being operated.
  • Install audible and visual alarms to notify persons working on the slope bottom that the hoist is in motion.
  • Examine hoist ropes regularly for broken wires, wear, corrosion, and proper lubrication. Remove ropes from service when any rope retirement criterion is met.
  • Ensure hoists (and ropes) have rated capacities consistent with the loads handled. Ensure brakes on the brakeman car can stop the hoist when hoisting passengers.
  • Ensure persons conducting daily inspections of hoisting equipment and brake cars have proper training.
  • Install derail devices to prevent run away trips from traveling into the mine.
  • Properly maintain and operate rollers and guide blocks.
  • 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 14th fatality reported in calendar year 2009 in the coal mining industry. As of this date in 2008, there were 26 fatalities. This is the first hoisting fatality reported in 2009. There were no hoisting fatalities at this time last year.


    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 - Not Available Yet