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MSHA - Fatalgram

METAL/NONMETAL MINE FATALITY - On December 23, 1998, a 21-year old utility man with 4 months mining experience was fatally injured at the surface area of an underground limestone mine. He and a co-worker were towing a loaded rail car off the in-track scales to couple the car to other loaded cars just up the track. The loader operator stopped due to restricted clearance on the adjacent track. The loaded car continued to roll and the victim was crushed when the slack in the cable was taken up, jerking the loader bucket against the rail car.

Best Practices

  • Mobile equipment operators should maintain control of the equipment while it is in motion.
  • A rigid coupling designed for rail equipment should be used to tow rail cars.
  • Personnel assigned to work with rail cars should be trained in safe work procedures.
  • This is the 50th fatality reported in calendar year 1998 in the metal and nonmetal mining industries. As of this date in 1997, there were 60 fatalities reported in these industries. This is the 21st fatality classified as Powered Haulage in 1998. There were twenty three Powered Haulage fatalities in the same period in 1997. (Please note 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