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COAL MINE FATALITY - On Wednesday, May 24, 2000, a 45-year-old front-end loader operator, with 23 years of mining experience, was fatally injured while operating a Caterpillar Model 988-B front-end loader. The victim was scraping up coal in the pit adjacent to an operating highwall miner when a highwall collapsed, covering the front-end loader and damaging the highwall miner launch assembly. The rock material completely covered the front-end loader, collapsing the operator's compartment. The fall of highwall occurred along a hill-seam that ran parallel to the highwall face.

Fatalgram Photo

Best Practices

  • An adequate on-shift examination should be conducted of all high wall conditions.

  • The approved ground control plan should be followed at all times to ensure the safe control of all high walls.
  • More Information
    E-mail Suggestion for Accident Prevention Program
    Submit your own suggestion for a remedy to prevent this type of accident in the future.
    Please specify if you wish your submission to be anonymous or whether your name may be used. Please include the year of the fatality and the fatality number.

    This is the fourteenth fatality reported in calendar year 2000 in the coal mining industry. As of this date in 1999 there were thirteen fatalities. This is the first fall of highwall fatality reported in the coal mining industry in 2000. There were three fall of highwall fatalities reported in the same period in 1999.

    The information provided in this notice is based on preliminary data ONLY and does not represent final determinations regarding the nature of the incident or conclusions regarding the cause of the fatality.

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