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Fatality Alert - Fatality #4 - February 13, 2013

Accident Report: Fatality Reference: 
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COAL MINE FATALITY - On Wednesday, February 13, 2013, a 28-year-old continuous mining machine operator was killed when he was pinned between the tail of the remote controlled continuous mining machine and the coal rib. The victim had mined the first two lifts of the cut sequence in the No. 1 entry. While repositioning the continuous mining machine to mine the final cut on left side, the victim was pinned between the tail of the machine and the coal rib on the right side. The victim had 4 years and 2 months of mining experience, with 6 months of experience as a continuous mining machine operator.

Photo of accident scene
Best Practices: 
  • Install and maintain proximity detection systems. See the proximity detection single source page on the MSHA website.
  • Develop programs, policies, and procedures for starting and tramming remote controlled continuous mining machines.
  • Frequently review, retrain, and discuss avoiding the "RED ZONE" areas when operating or working near a remote controlled continuous mining machine.
  • Train all production crews and management in the programs, policies, and procedures and ensure that they are followed.
  • Ensure that mining machine operators are in a safe location while tramming the continuous mining machine from place to place or repositioning in the entry during cutting and loading.
  • Ensure everyone is outside the machine turning radius before starting or moving the equipment.
  • When moving continuous mining machines where the left and right traction drives are operated independently, low tram speed should be used.
  • Assign another miner to assist the continuous mining machine operator when it is being moved or repositioned.
  • Train all persons in the programs, policies, and procedures for operating or working near remote controlled continuous mining machines. Additional information on preventing these types of accidents can be found at: MSHA's Safety Targets Program Hit By Underground Equipment.
Additional Information: 

This is the fourth 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 second fatality classified as Machinery in 2013. At this time in 2012, there was no fatality in this classification.