COAL MINE FATALITY - On Tuesday, March 25, 2014, at approximately 1:45 a.m., a 41-year-old mechanic trainee with 23 weeks of mining experience was killed while working on a belt feeder. The victim was cutting through the inner left side plate of the crawler assembly that connects the hopper jack assemblies to the crawler frame. When the cut was completed, the crawler assembly pivoted upward, pinning the victim between the crawler track and the frame of the feeder.
- Ensure that all stored energy is released or controlled before initiating repairs.
- Securely block equipment against all hazardous motion at all times while performing maintenance work. Take extra precautions if it is possible for the equipment to move in multiple directions.
- Always be aware of your location in relation to machine parts that can move. Examine work areas for hazards that may be created as a result of the work being performed.
- Establish and discuss safe work procedures before beginning work. Identify and control all hazards associated with the work to be performed to ensure miners are protected.
- Study the manufacturer's maintenance manual for safety precautions and recommended blocking securing procedures BEFORE initiating repairs.
- If specified, always use the manufacturer’s safety device(s) or features for securing components against motion.
This is the third fatality reported during calendar year 2014 in the coal mining industry. As of this date in 2013, there were eight fatalities reported in coal mining. This is the second fatality classified as Machinery in 2014. At this time in 2013, there were two fatalities in this classification.