COAL MINE FATALITY - On Saturday, November 23, 2013, a 32-year-old longwall shieldman with 5 years of mining experience was killed when he was struck by high pressure hydraulic fluid from a panline valve bank. The victim was advancing shields and the panline when a hydraulic hose extending from the panline to a shield was pinched between a shield pontoon and the mine floor. As the shields and panline advanced, a fitting on the hydraulic hose broke where it was attached to a panline valve bank.
- Keep all high pressure hydraulic hoses free from pinch points, sharp edges, and abrasive areas.
- Use whip checks to prevent excessive free motion of hoses at connection points.
- Ensure proper hose routing to eliminate abrasion damage and exposure to ignition and electrical sources.
- Do not locate high pressure hoses in travel ways or in areas where miners are regularly exposed to them.
- Replace hydraulic hoses with hoses identical (length, diameter, pressure rating, etc.) to the original hose.
- Always assure pressure is removed from any hoses being replaced.
- Always check for defective hydraulic hoses and replace damaged hydraulic hoses immediately.
- Train miners on the dangers associated with hydraulic hoses on long wall faces and in proper maintenance procedures for the hydraulic system.
This is the 20th fatality reported in calendar year 2013 for the coal mining industry. As of this date in 2012, there were 17 fatalities reported in the coal mining industry. This is the 7th fatality classified as Machinery in 2013. At this time in 2012, there were three fatalities in this classification.