COAL MINE FATALITY -On June 6, 2016, a 34-year-old contract laborer with 7 years of mining experience was fatally injured when a diesel-powered front-end loader fell on him. Working together, another miner and the victim lowered the bucket and put downward hydraulic pressure on the bucket to raise the middle of the loader. Both miners then crawled under the loader. The hydraulic pressure released, allowing the loader to lower, pinning both miners. A mine examiner, who was nearby, lowered the bucket again to raise the loader off the miners. One miner was freed and assisted in removing the unresponsive victim from under the loader. Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) was performed, but the victim could not be revived.
- Do not work under a suspended load.
- Never depend on hydraulics to support a load. Use the manufacturer’s recommendations to lift and block equipment against hazardous motion BEFORE starting any repairs.
- DO NOT proceed with repairs until all safety concerns are adequately resolved, especially if potential hazards or prescribed procedures are unclear,.
- Conduct examinations, from safe locations, to identify hydraulic leaks and assure repairs are conducted in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommendations. Verify the release of, or fully control, all stored energy before initiating repairs.
- Treat the suspended load as unblocked until blocks or jack stands are in place, fully supporting the weight, and equipment stability has been verified.
- Establish and discuss safe work procedures before beginning work. Identify and control all hazards associated with the work to be performed to ensure miners are protected. Use the proper tools and equipment for the job.
- Train all miners in the health and safety aspects and safe work procedures related to their assigned tasks.
This is the fifth fatality reported in calendar year 2016 in the coal mining industry and the second fatality classified as Machinery. As of this date in 2015, there were seven fatalities reported in the coal mining industry. At this time in 2015, there were two fatalities in this classification.