COAL MINE FATALITY - - On Tuesday, June 8, 2010, a 38-year old service truck operator with seven years of mining experience, was fatally injured while in the process of refueling a diesel track-mounted highwall drill. The operator was apparently placing the fuel nozzle into the diesel fuel tank when an ignition/explosion erupted into a fire, engulfing him in flames.
- Open fuel tank cap slowly to relieve any pressure buildup.
- Ensure that the refueling area is well ventilated, especially in low areas where heavy fuel vapors can accumulate.
- Before refueling, turn off the engine(s) and motor(s) and eliminate other potential ignition sources.
- Check hydraulic lines and connections, especially those near hot surfaces, prior to operating the vehicle. Perform maintenance or repairs when necessary.
- Ensure that all affected persons are familiar with the Material Safety Data Sheets on fuels and lubricants in use.
This is the 37th fatality reported in calendar year 2010 in the coal mining industry. As of this date in 2009, there were six fatalities reported in the coal mining industry. This is the thirtieth fatality classified as Ignition or Explosion of Gas or Dust in 2010. At this time in 2009, there were no fatalities in this classification.