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COAL MINE FATALITY - On June 23, 2003, a 47-year old lead mechanic with 27 years of mining experience was fatally injured at a surface-mine repair yard while preparing to move a section of a shovel mainframe with a front-end loader. The metal mainframe section was to be used at another location to block-up another piece of equipment. After the front-end loader operator positioned the bucket over the shovel mainframe section, the victim reached under the bucket to attach a chain between the mainframe section and the bucket. During this process, the bucket drifted downward, pinning the victim's head between the mainframe section and the bucket.

Photo of Accident Scene

Best Practices

  • Securely block raised equipment to prevent accidental movement before working beneath such components.
  • Ensure that personnel are trained to recognize hazardous work procedures, including working in pinch points where inadvertent movement could cause injury.
  • Discuss work procedures and identify all hazards associated with the work to be performed, along with the methods to protect personnel.
  • Maintain good communication between co-workers.
  • 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 18th fatal accident reported in calendar year 2003 in the coal mining industry. As of this date in 2002, there were 14 fatalities reported in the coal mining industry. This is the third fatal accident classified as machinery reported in the coal mining industry in 2003. At this time in 2002, there was one fatal accident classified as powered haulage in the coal mining industry.

    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