United States
Department of Labor

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Fatality Alert - Fatality #11 - July 31, 2013

Accident Report: Fatality Reference: 
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COAL MINE FATALITY - On July 31, 2013, a 28-year-old mechanic with 7 years of experience, was killed while checking a strut on a rock truck. He was removing the top cap of the strut when the cap loosened, allowing the truck frame to abruptly drop. The victim was pinned between the top of the right front tire and the bottom of the fender.

Photo of accident scene
Best Practices: 
  • Perform maintenance and repairs only after blocking machinery and components against motion.
  • Before loosening hydraulic hoses or components, determine if they are supporting something or trapping pressure.
  • Ensure warning labels are visible. Check them regularly and replace any labels that are illegible.
  • Consult and follow the manufacturer's recommended safe work procedures for the maintenance task, and monitor work to ensure procedures are followed.
  • Ensure that safe work procedures are in place for specific tasks, machines, etc.
  • Before performing any job, consider all hazards and implement formal procedures that address hazards.
  • Ensure that you are positioned in a safe location when performing maintenance and repairs.
Additional Information: 

This is the eleventh fatality reported in calendar year 2013 in the coal mining industry. As of this date in 2012, there were thirteen fatalities reported in the coal mining industry. This is the third fatality classified as Machinery in 2013. At this time in 2012, there were two fatalities in this classification.