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COAL MINE FATALITY - On Tuesday, September 19, 2000, a 33-year old journeyman mechanic with 8 years mining experience was installing a new track on a D11N Caterpillar bulldozer. The new track was chained to the old track. As the old track was removed, the new track was guided into place. The new track became stuck and the chain connecting the two tracks together broke. The dozer blade and ripper were used to raise the dozer, which freed the tracks. The shop overhead crane was used, with a four chain sling, to suspend the bogie idlers above the tracks. The dozer hydraulics bled off, lowered the dozer, and placed excessive weight on the overhead crane chains. The chain hook on the rear bogie slipped off and struck the mechanic in the head. The mechanic was air lifted to the hospital where he died from his injuries on September 25, 2000.

Best Practices

  • Suspended equipment or loads must be blocked before working underneath or around the suspended load or equipment.

  • Persons, working around tensioned chains and cables, must maintain a safe clearance away from the tensioned device in the event of failure.

  • Equipment must not be used beyond its design capacity.

  • Maintenance procedures must utilize the proper equipment and accessories.

  • 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 29th fatality reported in calendar year 2000 in the coal mining industry. As of this date in 1999, there were 28 fatalities. This is the 7th accident classified as machinery reported in the coal mining industry in 2000. As of this date in 1999, there were 3 fatal accidents classified as machinery.

    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