COAL MINE FATALITY --On Tuesday, January 19, 2016, a 36-year-old continuous mining machine operator was fatally injured when he was pinned between the conveyor boom of the remote controlled continuous mining machine and the coal rib while positioning the trailing cable. The victim had trammed the continuous mining machine back out of the No. 6 Face into the last open crosscut between No. 6 and No. 5 Entries. The victim had 5 years and 6 months of mining experience, with 1 year and 17 weeks experience as a continuous mining machine operator.
- Avoid “RED ZONE” areas when operating or working near a remote controlled continuous mining machine. Ensure all personnel; including the equipment operator is outside the machine turning radius before starting or moving the equipment. STAY OUT of RED ZONES.
- Maintain a safe distance from any moving equipment. Position the conveyor boom away from the operator or other miners working in the area or when moving the machine.
- Perform manufacturer’s pre-operation examinations each shift to ensure the proximity detection system is in proper working order to verify that the shutdown zones are sufficient to stop the machine before contacting a miner.
- Be aware that radio frequency interference and Electromagnetic Interference generated by mining electrical systems can disrupt communications between the Miner Wearable Components (MWC) and the Proximity Detection System.
- MWCs should be worn securely at all times according to manufacturer recommendations and in a manner so that warning lights and sounds can be seen and heard.
- Always ensure continuous mining machine pump motors are disabled before handling trailing cables and never defeat machine safety controls.
- Develop procedures to assist the continuous mining machine operator when repositioning or moving the machine.
This is the third fatality reported in calendar year 2016 in the coal mining industry and it is classified as Machinery.