COAL MINE FATALITY – On Wednesday, March 28, 2018, a 29-year-old belt foreman with .eight years of total mining experience was fatally injured while he and a co-worker were in the process of splicing an underground conveyor belt when the conveyor belt inadvertently started. The victim became entangled with the belt splicing tools as the conveyor belt moved.
- Before splicing conveyor belts, perform the following steps:
- Open the circuit breaker that supplies electrical power to the conveyor belt drive.
- Open the visual disconnect for the cable that supplies electrical power to the conveyor belt drive.
- Lock-out and tag-out the visual disconnect yourself and NEVER rely on someone to do this for you.
- Release the tension in the conveyor belt take-up/storage unit.
- Block the conveyor belt against motion.
- Keep the key to the lock at all times while repairs and/or maintenance are performed.
- Ensure that you are the only person who removes the lock after repairs and/or maintenance are completed.
- Ensure that no miner is in harm’s way before starting the conveyor belt(s).
- Provide a visible and/or audible system, with a start-up delay, to warn persons that the conveyor belt will begin moving.
- Establish policies and procedures for performing specific tasks on conveyor belts and ensure all miners are trained.
This is the fourth fatality reported in calendar year 2018 in the coal mining industry and it is the second classified as Powered Haulage. As of this date in 2017, four fatalities were reported in the coal mining industry, with two in this classification.