Fatality Alert - Fatality #33 - April 22, 2010

Accident Report: Fatality Reference: 
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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.
Additional Information: 

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.