COAL MINE FATALITY – On Wednesday, May 14, 2014, a 25-year-old roof bolter operator with 1 year and 44 weeks mining experience was killed when he was pinned between a roof-bolting machine and the coal rib. The victim and another roof bolter operator were in the process of tramming the roof-bolting machine in the outby direction in the No. 3 entry on the No. 1 Longwall Tailgate. They had trammed the roof bolting machine from the 151 crosscut to approximately the 89 ½ crosscut when the accident occurred. The victim was found on the left side of the roof-bolting machine between the machine and the coal rib.
- Ensure everyone, including the equipment operator, is outside the machine-turning radius before starting or moving equipment.
- Walk behind moving mobile equipment when traveling in the same entry and maintain a safe distance between yourself and any equipment that is moving.
- Never position yourself in an area or location where equipment operators cannot readily see you.
- Develop policies and procedures for starting and tramming self-propelled equipment. Train all miners that would be exposed to the hazards.
- When moving self-propelled machines where the left and right traction drives are operated independently, low tram speed should be used.
- Never defeat any of the machine controls. Ensure that all operating devices function as designed.
- 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.
This is the sixth fatality reported in calendar year 2014 in the coal mining industry and it is classified as Machinery. As of this day in 2013 there were eight fatalities reported in the coal mining industry. At this time in 2013, there were two fatalities in this classification.