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COAL MINE FATALITY - On September 17, 2001, a miner with sixteen years of mining experience was fatally injured when struck by an Eimco diesel scoop. The victim was last heard with a hammer making repairs to the line curtain in the face of the #4 entry. The scoop was being used to clean up and haul coal from a previous room set up to the active unit and dump in the rotary coal feeder. The coal feeder was shut down for repair. The scoop operator was instructed to change his haulage route and dump the coal at the face of the #4 entry. When the scoop operator entered the #4 face area he noticed a miner's light shining on the mine roof and he stopped the scoop. A witness at the coal feeder saw the victim under the scoop and flagged the scoop operator. The scoop was immediately backed up approximately 15 feet and unsuccessful efforts were started to revive the unconscious victim.

Photo of Accident Scene

Best Practices

  • Always maintain a safe distance between yourself and any equipment that is moving.
  • Pre-operational checks should be adequate to identify any hazards that may effect the safe operation of the equipment before it is placed into service.
  • Equipment operators should sound warning bells and horns when the operators visibility could be obstructed at tight turns, changing directions, and curtains.
  • Never in any circumstances assume that an equipment operator sees you and is stopping for you.
  • Wear reflective clothing to increase your chances of being seen by equipment operators.
  • 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 19th fatal accident reported in calendar year 2001 in the coal mining industry. As of this date in 2000, there were twenty-six fatalities reported in the coal mining industry. This is the fourth fatal accident, classified as powered haulage, reported in the coal mining industry in 2001. At this time in 2000, there were eight fatal accidents, classified as powered haulage in the coal mining industry.

    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 - Not Available Yet