COAL MINE FATALITY - On Friday, January 16, 2014, a 20-year-old general inside laborer with 2 years of mining experience was killed when he was struck by a feeder. The victim was standing between the coal rib and the feeder when the securing post dislodged, allowing the tailpiece unit to shift and pin him between the rib and the frame of the feeder. The victim had just finished connecting a chain between the feeder and the tailpiece when the accident occurred.
- De-energize and lock out the conveyor belt before repositioning the tailpiece.
- Establish and discuss safe work procedures before beginning work. Identify and control all hazards associated with the work to be performed and the methods to properly protect persons.
- Use equipment or material capable of supporting the tailpiece.
- Ensure any bracing, such as a post, is hitched into the rib properly.
- Ensure the tailpiece is anchored securely before re-energizing the conveyor.
- Operate the belt before allowing miners around the repositioned tailpiece. Keep miners at a safe distance and avoid pinch points until it is determined that the tailpiece is secure.
This is the first fatality reported in calendar year 2014 in the coal mining industry and it is classified as Powered Haulage. As of this date in 2013 there were no fatalities reported in the coal mining industry.