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METAL/NONMETAL MINE FATALITY - On June 22, 1998, a 66-year old plant superintendent with 26 years of mining experience was fatally injured at a crushed stone operation. The victim had started the pony engine on a bulldozer and was kneeling on the tracks as he engaged the clutch to start the main engine. When the engine started the dozer moved in reverse, pulling him between the track and the framework.

Best Practices

  • When mobile equipment is left unattended, the parking brake should be set.
  • Equipment operators should always verify the position of operating controls before starting mobile equipment.
  • Mine operators should retrofit neutral start switches interlocked with the pony motor ignition system on older equipment.
  • This is the 29th fatality reported in calendar year 1998 in the metal and nonmetal mining industries. As of this date in 1997, there were 40 fatalities reported in these industries. This is the 7th fatality classified as Machinery in 1998. There were 5 Machinery fatalities in the same period in 1997. (Please note that the 1997 final fatality count was changed from 60 to 61 after the close of the calendar year.)

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