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Close Call Graphic Department of Labor
Mine Safety and Health Administration

August 2000

Chain Broke

Recently, a potentially fatal accident occurred at a District 8 underground mine when a continuous miner operator was struck in the throat by a piece of 5/8 inch chain that broke under a load while being pulled on. He was hospitalized with a lacerated windpipe. The accident occurred when the injured miner was helping pull free a continuous mining machine that was stuck in the soft mine floor/bottom. The inby area was on a decline, pitching to the right, causing the mining machine to slide to the right side of the entry. A diesel scoop and two ram cars were chained together and to the continuous miner to assist the machine as it attempted to tram backwards and up the inclined area of the entry. The chain that was attached to the diesel scoop and the back bumper of the continuous miner broke and struck the employee, injuring him. The chain broke when the scoop and two ram cars were put into reverse. All three employees had positioned themselves in an unsafe workplace location.
Chain Injury Sketch
  • Use the proper tools and equipment designed for the job. Chains should not be used in this manner.
  • When performing work involving the use of cables or wire ropes for pulling heavy loads, choose a safe location and stay clear of the danger area !
  • Assure that equipment and tools are used within their rated capacity.
  • Always wear suitable protective equipment, including eye protection or safety glasses.

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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.