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COAL MINE FATALITY - On Thursday, July 23, 1998, a small crew was working underground dismantling the collector belt that conveys coal from the surge bin to the slope conveyor belt. The emergency pull cord circuit for the collector belt was energized from the surface and contained a ground fault which energized the tailpiece of the collector belt unit. While disassembling the structure of the collector belt, the workers would occasionally receive an electrical shock from the metal structure. The maintenance foreman, on his way to the mine phone to call and have all power circuits to the area deenergized, traveled alongside the energized structure. Along the way, he contacted the metal frame and was electrocuted.

  • All electric power circuits must be deenergized prior to performing maintenance or repair work on any equipment.
  • The frames of electrical equipment, including switches, shall be properly grounded.
  • All electric circuits, including control circuits, shall include overcurrent and overload protection.
  • This is the 17th fatality reported in calendar year 1998 in the coal mining industry. As of this date in 1997, there were 19 fatalities. This is the first fatality classified as ELECTRICAL in 1998.

    For more information:
    Fatal Alert Bulletin Icon MSHA's Fatal Accident Investigation Report [FTL98C17]