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COAL MINE FATALITY - On Thursday, April 22, 2010, a 28-year old continuous mining machine operator with 5 years of experience was fatally injured when he was crushed between the conveyor boom of the continuous mining machine and the coal rib. The victim was located near the continuous mining machine while positioning it. The mining height in this area was approximately five feet.

Photo of Accident Scene Described in the Paragraph Above


Best Practices
  • Ensure the continuous mining machine operator is positioned beyond the turning radius, and away from the conveyor boom turning radius before starting or moving the equipment.
  • Frequently review, retrain, and discuss avoiding the "RED ZONE" areas when operating or working near a remote controlled continuous mining machine.
  • Pursue new technology, such as proximity detection, to protect personnel from accidents of this type. See the proximity detection single source page on the MSHA web site.
  • Minimize the number of miners working or traveling near continuous mining machines and maintain effective communications between miners and equipment operators.
  • Train all productions crews and management in programs, policies, and procedures for operating remote controlled continuous mining machines.

  • 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 33rd fatality reported in calendar year 2010 in the coal mining industry. As of this date in 2009, there were five fatalities in the coal mining industry. This is the second 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