COAL MINE FATALITY - On Thursday, May 18, 2017, an outby utility miner received fatal injuries when his head hit the mine roof and/or roof support. He and another miner were travelling in a trolley-powered supply locomotive when the accident occurred. While the locomotive was still in motion, the trolley pole came off the trolley wire. The victim grabbed the pole to place it back on the trolley wire. In this slightly elevated position, the victim hit his head on the mine roof and was fatally injured.
- STOP trolley-powered vehicles before placing the trolley pole back on the trolley wire.
- Mining conditions change – often abruptly. Always face the direction of travel and exercise extreme caution in low clearance areas.
- Keep all body parts within the operator’s compartment while a vehicle is in motion. Stay below the highest part of a vehicle frame or windshield, especially when travelling through low clearance areas.
- Install signs to warn miners of approaching low clearance areas and train miners to reduce speed in those areas.
- Conduct proper travelway examinations to identify and mitigate the hazards presented by low clearances.
- Properly install and maintain trolley wire and trolley poles to eliminate areas where the trolley pole is prone to coming off the trolley wire.
- Examine the trolley pole harp for excessive wear. Ensure it is properly lubricated to allow it to swivel adequately to maintain proper contact with the trolley wire.
This is the seventh fatality reported in 2017 in the coal mining industry and it is the fourth accident to be classified as powered haulage. As of this date in 2016, six fatalities were reported, with two in this classification.