COAL MINE FATALITY - On Tuesday, July 31, 2012, at approximately 12:45 p.m., a 43-year-old scoop operator received fatal crushing injuries when he was caught between a battery powered scoop and the coal rib while attempting to change the scoop's batteries. The scoop was parked at a battery charging station located four crosscuts from the working section when it was impacted by another scoop which was traveling outby adjacent to the charging station.
- Equipment operators should sound audible warnings when traveling around turns or blind spots, through ventilation curtains, and at any time the operator's visibility is obstructed.
- Always look in the direction of equipment movement and exercise caution in areas where clearance is tight and visibility is limited. Install warning signs to remind equipment operators of the hazards present in these areas.
- Assure that the area where equipment is parked is conspicuously marked with reflective material and/or signs if there is a potential for other equipment to strike it.
- Install Proximity Detection Systems on continuous mining machines and haulage equipment to prevent these types of injuries and fatalities.
- Ensure that equipment operators establish good communications between themselves and other miners that may be working around or near their equipment.
This is the thirteenth fatality reported in calendar year 2012 in the coal mining industry. As of this date in 2011 there were ten fatalities reported in the coal mining industry. This is the second fatality classified as Powered Haulage in 2012. At this time in 2011, there were three fatalities in this classification.