COAL MINE FATALITY - On Friday, February 21, 2014, a 24-year-old continuous mining machine operator with 5½ years of mining experience was killed when he was pinned between the end of the boom of a continuous mining machine and the right coal rib. The miner was tramming the remote controlled continuous mining machine in the last open crosscut toward the Number 1 entry.
- Install and maintain proximity detection systems to protect personnel and eliminate accidents of this type. See the proximity detection single source page on the MSHA website.
- Ensure everyone, including the equipment operator, is outside the machine turning radius before starting or moving equipment.
- Develop policies and procedures for starting and tramming self-propelled equipment and especially remote controlled continuous mining machines. Implement measures to assure their use which includes training all miners that are exposed to the hazards.
- Avoid the "RED ZONE" areas when operating or working near a continuous mining machine especially when setting over or place changing a remote controlled continuous mining machine.
- When moving continuous mining machines where the left and right traction drives are operated independently, use the low tram speed.
- Assign another miner to assist the continuous mining machine operator when it is being moved or repositioned.
- Frequently review, retrain, and discuss avoiding the "RED ZONE" areas.
This is the second fatality reported during calendar year 2014 in the coal mining industry. As of this date in 2013, there were six fatalities reported in coal mining. This is the first fatality classified as Machinery in 2014. At this time in 2013, there were two fatalities in this classification.