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COAL MINE FATALITY - On April 11, 2010, a 61-year old contract iron worker/mine fireboss with 20 years of mining experience was fatally injured while installing pre-fabricated metal stairs on the side of a fan housing. The stair stringer had been hoisted into place and clamped at the top with two "locking pliers-type" C-clamps. The bottom of the inclined stringer was lying on a 6x6 inch timber. To level the stair treads, a 6x6 inch timber was going to be replaced with a 4x4 inch timber. To replace the 6x6 timber, rigging was fastened near the lower part of the stringer. The victim was standing on the ground holding the handrails. As the lower end of the stringer was hoisted by the crane, the clamps opened and the top end of the stringer fell. This caused the bottom end of the stringer to pivot up and swing out. This pushed the victim backward and pinned him against a nearby manlift.

Photo of Accident Scene Described in the Paragraph Above


Best Practices
  • Ensure that all personnel stay clear of hoisted loads and areas where loads may fall if hoisting fails.
  • Know the limitations of temporary supports and ensure they are used within their specifications.
  • Ensure all components are adequately blocked and secured to prevent unintended motion.
  • Use taglines on loads to be hoisted that will need steadying or guidance.
  • Ensure that crane operators communicate with other workers in close proximity to loads that are going to be moved.
  • Ensure that personnel are trained to recognize hazardous work procedures.
  • Discuss work procedures and identify all hazards associated with the work to be performed, along with the methods to protect personnel.

  • 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 thirty-second fatality reported in calendar year 2010 in the coal mining industry. As of this date in 2009, there were five fatalities reported in the coal mining industry. This is the first "Machinery" fatality in 2010. At this time in 2009, 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:
    Fatal Alert Bulletin Icon MSHA's Fatal Accident Investigation Report