Fatality Alert - Fatality #3 - March 3, 2012

Accident Report: Fatality Reference: 
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COAL MINE FATALITY - On Saturday, March 3, 2012, a 32-year old foreman was killed while attempting to install a canopy on a Joy 21 SC Shuttle Car. The canopy was suspended from the mine roof by a cable and chain. The foreman was seated in the operator's compartment of the shuttle car beneath the suspended canopy. The canopy shifted and fell, striking the foreman in the head, causing fatal injuries. The victim had 11 years of mining experience, 2 years and 6 weeks experience at this mine, and 32 weeks of experience as a foreman.

shuttle car parked beneath an uneven canopy
Best Practices: 
  • Before performing a materials handling job, consider all hazards and implement formal procedures that address possible hazards.
  • Devise safe methods to complete tasks involving large objects, massive weights, or the release of stored energy.
  • Always de-energize equipment and block against motion.
  • Never use permanent roof support as a mechanism for lifting heavy objects. Install lifting points that are designed and manufactured to support the intended load.
  • Use only devices designed and rated for the suspension of heavy loads and do not exceed the rated capacity of your hoisting, towing, or rigging tools.
  • When working with or near extremely heavy objects/materials suspended overhead, use a positive means to prevent objects/materials from falling, or moving.
  • Never work in the fall path of objects/materials or massive weights having the potential of becoming off-balanced while suspended.
  • Train personnel to recognize hazardous work procedures, including working in pinch points where inadvertent movement could cause injury.
Additional Information: 

This is the third fatality reported in calendar year 2012 in the coal mining industry. As of this date in 2011 there were two fatalities reported in the coal mining industry. This is first fatality classified as a Handling Materials accident in 2012. At this time in 2011, there were no fatalities in this classification.