United States
Department of Labor

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Fatality Alert - Fatality #18 - November 30, 2012

Accident Report: Fatality Reference: 
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COAL MINE FATALITY - On Friday, November 30, 2012, a 27-year old electrician was killed when he was caught between a battery-powered maintenance scoop and the cutting head of a continuous mining machine. The accident occurred on a working section while the electrician was performing maintenance work on the cutting head of the continuous mining machine, which was parked in an entry.

highlighted: the space between a battery-powered maintenance scoop and the cutting head of a continuous mining machine
Best Practices: 
  • Be aware of your location relative to mobile equipment movement and never position yourself between equipment in motion and a stationary object.
  • Mark the area where equipment is parked for maintenance with conspicuous reflective material, flashing lights, or other warning signs on both sides of the entry or crosscut to warn mobile equipment operators of a parked machine or the presence of other miners.
  • Train miners to establish and use effective communications working around equipment. Ensure that mobile equipment operators are aware of your location at all times.
  • Use approved translucent or transparent ventilation curtains for better visibility. Never put extraneous material or supplies on mobile equipment where it can obstruct the visibility of the machine operator.
  • When operating equipment, sound audible warnings while traveling around turns or blind spots, through ventilation curtains, and at any time the operator's visibility is limited or obstructed.
  • Install proximity detection systems on all mobile face equipment.
Additional Information: 

This is the eighteenth fatality reported in calendar year 2012 in the coal mining industry. As of this date in 2011 there were nineteen fatalities reported in the coal mining industry. This is the fourth Powered Haulage fatality in 2012. At this time in 2011, there were five fatalities in this classification.