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COAL MINE FATALITY - On Thursday, January 7, 1999, a highwall drill operator, while inside the operator's cab, was fatally injured when a portion of the highwall collapsed. Large pieces of sandstone fell from the highwall causing severe damage to the drill and the operator's compartment. The portion of the highwall which collapsed measured approximately 50 feet in height by 60 feet in width.

  • Highwalls should be examined often, especially during periods of changing weather conditions.
  • The ground control plan at every mine should be followed
  • All miners should be trained to recognize hazardous highwall conditions.
  • Drill operators should not drill from positions that increase exposure to highwall hazards.
  • This is the first coal mine fatality in 1999. As of January 07 of last year there had been no fatalities. This death is the first classified as Fall/Highwall in 1999.

    For more information:

    Fatal Alert Bulletin Icon MSHA's Fatal Accident Investigation Report [FTL99C01]