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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

June 2000

Dozer/Stockpile Void Accident

Overhead View of DozerA life threatening accident involving a D9N bulldozer recently occurred at a District 8 area coal cleaning plant. The dozer was being operated directly over the Number 3 Feeder for the raw coal reclaim tunnel when the coal underneath the dozer collapsed into a void. The dozer sank backwards and was engulfed in the void of the feeder. The dozer operator remained in the cab of the machine as it slid into the feeder. The feeder was not drawing coal from the overlying surge pile due to a large cone-shaped void that had developed above the feeder. The preparation plant had previously not been in operation for nine days, and approximately 110,000 tons of coal had been stockpiled. Neither the feeder nor the beltline conveyor was being operated at the time of the accident. Due to compaction of the coal stockpile and removal of some coal around the feeder, the walls of the void did not collapse around the dozer. The dozer was lodged vertically in the void created by collapse of the coal. The dozer operator, uninjured, was able to open the cab door and climb up and over the vertically pitched machine.
Stockpile View of Dozer
  • Be aware of surge hole locations at all times. Overhead markers or other effective means should be used.
  • Always know which feeder is being operated and the location of feeder points.
  • Use equipment seat belts at all times.
  • Establish and maintain a system of communication with all equipment operators.

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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.