COAL MINE FATALITY - On September 26, 2015, a 58-year-old bulldozer operator with 10 years of mining experience was found lying unconscious on the ground next to a bulldozer. The mine foreman had driven the bulldozer operator to his designated working area. After seeing that the bulldozer was stationary, he returned and found the bulldozer operator lying on the ground. First aid was started immediately by mine personnel and they continued medical treatment until emergency personnel arrived. The miner was airlifted to the hospital where he remained until October 5, 2015, when he died from his injuries.
- Always use three points of contact when using steps and/or handholds to access equipment. Ensure that either two hands and one foot, or one hand and two feet are in contact with the machine at all times when mounting and dismounting equipment.
- Get on the machine only at locations that have steps and/or handholds. Steps should be highly visible and easily reached by all miners.
- Make sure steps and handholds are properly secured and free of defects, damage, and debris.
- Keep hands free of any objects when mounting and dismounting equipment. Use a rope to raise and lower objects to and from the operator’s compartment.
- Do not use equipment controls as handholds when entering or exiting the operator’s compartment.
- Maintain traction by ensuring footwear is free of potential slipping hazards such as dirt, oil, and grease and by coating existing ladders, handholds, and landings with slip resistant material.
- Always face equipment while mounting or dismounting it.
- Ensure sufficient illumination is provided at all work areas.
This is the tenth fatality reported in calendar year 2015 in the coal mining industry and this is the first fatality classified as Slip or Fall of Person. As of this day in 2014, there were twelve fatalities reported in the coal mining industry. At this time in 2014, there were no fatalities in this classification.