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Fatality Alert - Fatality #13 - October 18, 2014

Accident Report: Fatality Reference: 
PDF Version: 

COAL MINE FATALITY – On Saturday, October 18, 2014, at approximately 10:05 p.m., a contractor truck driver with over 5 years of truck driving experience was killed while operating a rock truck. The driver was removing top soil ahead of the East Elk Pit when he drove off a highwall and fell approximately 240 feet.

Photo of rock truck shattered on ground from where it fell, 240 feet above
Best Practices: 
  • Operate equipment in a manner that is consistent with conditions of roadways, grades, clearance, visibility, traffic, and the type of equipment used.
  • Standardize and post traffic rules, signals, and warning signs.
  • Provide and maintain adequate berms and other barriers that are at least mid-axle high on the banks of roadways where a drop off exists.
  • Train all employees on the equipment they operate, on safe job procedures, hazard recognitionand on hazard avoidance.
  • Maintain control of equipment at all times during operation.  Know the truck's capabilities, operating ranges, load-limits, and safety features.
  • Monitor work activities and examine work areas to assure safe work practices are followed.
  • Monitor contract employees adequately at all job sites to ensure that safe work procedures are being followed. 
  • Conduct pre-operational checks to identify and repair any defects that may affect the safe operation of equipment before it is placed into service.
Additional Information: 

This is the thirteenth 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 18 fatalities reported in the coal mining industry.  At this time in 2013 there were 6 fatalities in this classification.