United States
Department of Labor

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Fatality Alert - Fatality #18 - October 11, 2013

Accident Report: Fatality Reference: 
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COAL MINE FATALITY - On Friday, October 11, 2013, a 59-year-old shuttle car operator, with approximately 22 years of mining experience, was killed when a shuttle car struck him. The victim was in the crosscut between the No. 6 and No. 7 entries. This crosscut and adjoining entries were being used to gain access to rooms being mined on the right side of the section.

Photo of accident scene
Best Practices: 
  • Use proximity detection systems to protect personnel from accidents of this type. See the proximity detection single source page on the MSHA web site.
  • Always ensure that visibility is not obstructed in the direction of travel and across the equipment being operated.
  • 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.
  • Come to a complete stop and sound an audible warning before proceeding through ventilation controls.
  • Ensure the sound level of audible warnings is significantly higher than that of the ambient noise.
  • Shine equipment lights in the direction of travel when operating haulage equipment.
  • Never position yourself in an area or location where equipment operators cannot readily see you.
  • Always communicate your position and intended movements to mobile equipment operators.
Additional Information: 

This is the 18th fatality reported in calendar year 2013 for the coal mining industry. As of this date in 2012, there were 16 fatalities reported in the coal mining industry. This is the 5th fatality classified as Powered Haulage in 2013. At this time in 2012, there were 3 fatalities in this classification.