COAL MINE FATALITY – On Tuesday, September 11, 2018, a mobile bridge conveyor (MBC) operator, with 8 weeks of mining experience, was fatally injured during the mining process. The continuous mining machine (CMM) and attached MBCs had been backed out of a completed cut. While the CMM was being repositioned, it moved the attached MBCs and crushed the victim between his MBC and the coal rib.
- Frequently communicate with other MBC operators before starting or tramming any component of the system. Always be in a location where other MBC operators can readily see or communicate with you.
- Install latching emergency stop switches so MBC operators can actuate them to prevent machine movement when they leave the operator’s cab or position. See PIB No. P11-16 for information on man-in position switches. https://arlweb.msha.gov/regs/complian/PIB/2011/pib11-16.pdf
- Stay out of MBC Red Zones if the CMM or any of the MBCs are energized.
- Be familiar with how the de-energizing switches on your machine operate and immediately actuate them the moment a hazard is recognized.
- Install man-in-position switches on mobile bridge conveyor systems so all MBC operators know everyone is in a safe position before initiating machine movement.
This is the sixth fatality reported in calendar year 2018 in the coal mining industry and it is the forth classified as Powered Haulage. As of this date in 2017, twelve fatalities were reported in the coal mining industry, with six in this classification.