United States
Department of Labor

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Fatality Alert - Fatality #3 - February 1, 2008

Accident Report: Fatality Reference: 
PDF Version: 

COAL MINE FATALITY - On Friday, February 1, 2008, a 34-year old field mechanic (contractor) with 13 years of experience was fatally injured while troubleshooting a diesel engine on a bulldozer. A valve cover, rocker assembly, and fuel injector had been removed from the cylinder head. The victim was observing the valve lifters while the engine was turned-over to place the lifters in a better position for retrieval. The victim was struck and fatally injured by material expelled from the cylinder head as the engine was cranked. 

Photo of Accident Scene Described in the Paragraph Above
Best Practices: 
  • Always wear eye protection when working near moving parts.
  • Follow equipment manufacturer's protocols and procedures when working on equipment.
  • Move to a safe location when there is a danger of high-pressure releases of fluids or objects.
  • Always use the proper tools, parts, and equipment to safely perform the work.
Additional Information: 

This is the third fatality reported in calendar year 2008 in the coal mining industry. As of this date in 2007, there were three fatalities reported in the coal mining industry. This is the first Machinery fatality in 2008. At this time in 2007, there were no fatalities in this classification.