COAL MINE FATALITY - On Wednesday, February 6, 2013, at approximately 4:00 p.m., a 34-year-old company engineer was killed at a coal preparation facility when he was struck by one of the hydraulic cylinders on a plate-type filter press. A hydraulic cylinder catastrophically failed while the press was in operation. The victim was positioned near the hydraulic cylinders, troubleshooting the operation of the filter press, when the accident occurred. The filter press de-watered the fine coal refuse material generated during the coal cleaning process.
- When troubleshooting or testing pressurized systems, position yourself in a safe location, away from any potential sources of failure.
- When possible, block access to areas where pressurized cylinders, tanks, or other vessels are located while the equipment is in operation and under pressure.
- Train miners in the proper maintenance of and the dangers associated with working around pressurized cylinders, tanks, and other vessels that have the potential to explode or rupture.
- Ensure the ratings of hydraulic components are compatible with their intended use.
- Use the proper tools and equipment for the job.
- Inspect, examine and evaluate all materials that are being used in the installation, replacement, or repair of pressurized systems to ensure they are suitable and meet minimum manufacturer's specifications.
- Examine and inspect hydraulic components for defects periodically.
This is the second fatality reported during calendar year 2013 in the coal mining industry. As of this date in 2012, there was one fatality reported in coal mining. This is the first fatality classified as Exploding Vessels Under Pressure in 2013. At this time in 2012, there was one fatality in this classification.