United States
Department of Labor

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Fatality Alert - Fatality #8 - June 27, 2015

Accident Report: Fatality Reference: 
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COAL MINE FATALITY -On Saturday, June 27, 2015, a 55-year-old scoop operator with 21 years of mining experience was killed when he was struck by a set of metal airlock doors.  The victim was closing the airlock doors when the doors dislodged and fell, pinning him to the ground.

Airlocks doors in downward position
Best Practices: 
  • Install ventilation controls, haulage doors, and other structures in a workmanlike manner and train employees in proper installation procedures.  Do not use these controls unless they are structurally sound.
  • Frequently examine haulage door structures to ensure they are properly anchored and stable.  Avoid allowing the doors to slam shut when they are closed.
  • Design and install airlock doors to withstand appropriate pressure differentials.  Ventilation controls should be reevaluated before major ventilation changes.
  • Do not open a haulage airlock door until the second door is closed to avoid short-circuiting the ventilation air.
  • Do not use mobile equipment to open doors that are designed to be opened by hand.
  • Do not work in pinch points where inadvertent movement could cause injury.
Additional Information: 

This is the eighth fatality reported in calendar year 2015 in the coal mining industry and it is the first fatality classified as Falling Material.  As of this day in 2014, there were nine fatalities reported in the coal mining industry.  At this time in 2014, there was no fatality in this classification.