United States
Department of Labor

Search form


Fatality Alert - Fatality #3 - February 27, 2017

Accident Report: Fatality Reference: 
PDF Version: 

COAL MINE FATALITY - On February 27, 2017, a 43-year-old plant attendant, with approximately 13 years of experience, was fatally injured when he fell through a 27-inch opening in a plate press.  The victim had climbed a ladder to repair a damaged plate when he fell about 19 feet onto a moving refuse belt.  The victim was found in a transfer chute, approximately 55 feet down the belt from where he had fallen.

Photo of Accident Scene Described in the Paragraph Above
Best Practices: 
  • Provide and maintain safe access to all work areas.  Train miners on how to safely access all work areas.
  • Protect and guard all openings through which persons may fall.  Use fall protection, maintaining 100 % tie off, when fall hazards exist.  View https://www.msha.gov/mnm-saftey-alert-fall-protection
  • Establish specific policies and procedures for the use of fall protection.
  • Ensure workers are trained in the use of fall protection.  Monitor work practices to ensure fall protection is being properly used.
  • Conduct a risk assessment of the work area prior to beginning any task and identify all possible hazards.  Use the SLAM: Stop, Look, Analyze, and Manage approach for work place safety.
Additional Information: 

This is the third fatality reported in 2017 in the coal mining industry and it is classified as slip or fall of person.  As of this date in 2016, three fatalities were reported, none in this classification.