United States
Department of Labor

Search form


Fatality Alert - Fatality #9 - June 6, 2013

Accident Report: Fatality Reference: 
PDF Version: 

COAL MINE FATALITY - On Thursday, June 6, 2013, a 36-year-old conveyor belt foreman with 4 years of mining experience was killed while checking a belt wiper at the belt conveyor discharge. He was positioned at the end of an elevated catwalk parallel to the belt drive to check the wiper. When the victim contacted the guardrail at the end of the catwalk, it gave way and he fell below onto the moving belt conveyor.

Photo of accident scene
Best Practices: 
  • Check guards along belt conveyors for stability and good repair.
  • Train all employees thoroughly on the dangers of working or traveling around moving conveyor belts.
  • Install appropriately-designed railings, barriers, or covers at all required conveyor belt locations, and ensure it is maintained in structurally sound condition.
  • Perform thorough workplace examinations. Inspect the work areas for all potential hazards including places that persons may fall from or through.
  • Provide belt conveyor stop and start controls at areas where miners must access both sides of the conveyor. Provide these areas with adequate crossing facilities (e.g. cross-overs or cross-unders).
  • Do not assume handrails or guards are strong enough to support you, and never lean against or support your weight on guarding.
Additional Information: 

This is the ninth fatality reported in calendar year 2013 in the coal mining industry. As of this date in 2012, there were nine fatalities reported in the coal mining industry. This is the third fatality classified as Powered Haulage in 2013. At this time in 2012, there were no fatalities in this classification.