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Fatality #12 - September 23, 2009

Accident Classification: Slip or Fall of Person
Location: MC#1 Mine, Illinois
Mine Controller: Coalfield Transport Inc
Mine Type: Underground
Mined Material: Coal (Bituminous)
Incident Date/Time: September 23, 2009 09:35 pm

On Wednesday, September 23, 2009, at approximately 9:35 p.m., Robert B. Comer, a contract miner/driller was fatally injured when he fell from a work platform to the bottom of a shaft that was under construction. Comer and four other employees were working on the top deck of a two-deck work platform that was suspended in the 22 foot diameter shaft. A section of steel grating covering an opening in the center of the platform was removed to facilitate the removal of the concrete remix (a special pipe used during concrete pours in the shaft). Comer fell through the opening to the bottom of the shaft, a distance of approximately 38 feet. He was wearing a full-body harness and a lanyard, but the lanyard was not secured (tied off to a suitable connection). 

The accident occurred because Cowin management failed to ensure that fall protection requirements contained in the regulations, the approved shaft sinking plan, and Cowin's fall protection policy were complied with.