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District 8 - Coal Mine Safety and Health
Info-Grams and Close Call Accidents

Close Call Graphic
Department of Labor
Mine Safety and Health Administration

Accident Info-Gram
March 2003

Shuttle car operator pinned between continuous miner tail and rib

On March 13, 2003, at about 12:45 p.m., a close-call accident occurred at an underground mine in District 8. A shuttle-car operator was pinned between the tail of a continuous miner and a coal rib. The continuous-miner operator backed the continuous miner out of the No. 2 face area and, with the help of the shuttle-car operator, moved the continuous miner's cable out of the way. This was done in preparation for a move to the No. 7 entry. The continuous-miner operator positioned himself in front of the continuous miner and the shuttle-car operator positioned himself behind the tail of the continuous miner. In preparation for a turn, the tail of the continuous miner had been swung to the right. After observing the cable lying on the floor next to the head of the continuous miner, the continuous-miner operator engaged the forward tram. At the same time he glanced back to the rear of the continuous miner and saw the shuttle-car operator running towards the tail of the continuous miner. (He was going to move a loop of cable.) The continuous-miner operator immediately released the tram levers, but the continuous miner had already moved forward approximately one foot and trapped the shuttle-car operator. To free the shuttle-car operator, the continuous-miner operator immediately slewed the continuous miner's tail away from the rib. The shuttle-car operator collapsed. After being treated for suspected injuries, the victim was transported to the surface and, subsequently, spent a night in the hospital. He did not receive any substantial injuries.

Drawing of Accident Site

  • Always be sure that everyone is in a safe location when moving equipment.
  • Do not position yourself anywhere beside the continuous miner during tramming operations - Stay Out of the Danger Zone!
  • Ensure that persons are beyond the continuous miner's turning radius during remote control tramming.
  • Notify machinery operators of your presence or intentions when approaching equipment.

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This file was last updated on 4/2/2003

This information was provided by concerned miners in an effort to eliminate accidents. Accident or "close call" information within District 8 may be shared by contacting the MSHA office at (812) 882-7617.