COAL MINE FATALITY -- On Tuesday, December 8, 2015, a 20-year-old supply man with 2 years of mining experience was killed while driving a tractor that was pulling a shield hauler trailer loaded with a longwall face conveyor chain down a nine degree inclined slope. He was unable to navigate the left-hand turn at the bottom of the slope and collided with the coal rib causing the 5th wheel trailer connection to break. The trailer hit the operator’s compartment and fatally injured the victim.
- Ensure that haulage equipment is compatible with all conditions and haulage road grades.
- Maintain the slope and other haulageways to allow safe travel.
- Ensure that the weight of the load being transported does not exceed the capability and braking capacity of the haulage equipment.
- Attach an additional tractor outby the load to provide additional braking capacity when hauling heavy equipment down a steep slope.
- Do not use equipment controls as handholds when entering or exiting the operator’s compartment.
- Perform pre-operational examinations to identify, report, and correct hazards affecting the safe operation of equipment before the equipment is used.
- Stop equipment at the top of the slope to ensure brakes and tire traction are capable of handling the load.
- Train all miners assigned to operate mobile equipment in the capabilities and load capacities for the road grade that will be travelled.
- Post safety precautions for hauling material down the slope in conspicuous areas including the mouth of the slope.
This is the eleventh fatality reported in calendar year 2015 in the coal mining industry and this is the third fatality classified as Powered Haulage. As of this day in 2014, there were fifteen fatalities reported in the coal mining industry. At this time in 2014, there were four fatalities in this classification.