COAL MINE FATALITY - On Tuesday, July 2, 2013, a 35-year old continuous mining machine operator (victim), with 11 years mining experience, was killed when he was struck by a battery-powered coal hauler and pinned between the coal hauler and the coal rib. The victim was taking a lunch break behind a line curtain the No. 4 entry and the intersection of the last open crosscut, which was in the haulage route to the continuous mining machine.
- Ensure that all persons are positioned to avoid danger from moving equipment. Never position yourself in an area or location where equipment operators cannot readily see you.
- Use proximity detection systems to protect personnel from accidents of this type. See the proximity detection single source page on the MSHA web site.
- Use transparent curtain for check and line curtains in the active face areas.
- Sound audible warnings when the equipment operator’s visibility is obstructed, such as when making turns, reversing direction, or approaching ventilation curtains. Assure that the sound level of audible warnings is significantly higher than that of the ambient noise.
- Energize the lights in the direction of travel when operating haulage equipment.
- Equipment operators should come to a complete stop and sound an audible warning before proceeding through ventilation controls.
This is the tenth fatality reported in calendar year 2013 in the coal mining industry. As of this date in 2012, there were ten fatalities reported in the coal mining industry. This is the fourth fatality classified as Powered Haulage in 2013. At this time in 2012, there were no fatalities in this classification.