District 5 - Coal Mine Safety and Health
A Near Miss
On Wednesday, March 13, 2002, at approximately 1:30 p.m., a surface highwall drill operator with at least 17 years mining experience was injured when a portion of the highwall collapsed. Material that fell from the highwall resulted in minor chest injuries to the drill operator. Examinations revealed that an undetected mud seam caused the collapse of the 40 foot highwall.
- Evaluate highwall conditions closely during seasonal changes.
- Focus on visual checks.
- Drill operators should be observant of highwall conditions at all times.