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COAL MINE FATALITY - On December 17, 2001, at approximately 11:50 a.m., a surface machinery accident occurred which resulted in fatal injuries to an Equipment Operator. The victim was working toward the installation of a de-watering pump along the access road leading to the flooded 01 pit. The work involved the use of a Model D6D Caterpillar bulldozer along an approximate 13% grade. For reasons unknown at this time, the machine overturned. The bulldozer was found approximately 90 feet down the access road lying on its left side with the victim pinned between the rollover protection and the ground. There were no eyewitnesses to the accident.

Photo of Accident Scene
View of D6D Caterpillar Bulldozer

Best Practices

  • Especially when operating machinery, workers should always be attentive to changes in ground conditions and visibility.

  • All personnel, who operate mobile equipment, should be instructed to wear their seatbelts, where required, at all times when the equipment is in motion.

  • Workers and mine management should always be alert to changing weather conditions and insure that proper examinations are made after every rain, freeze or thaw, prior to entering specified work areas.
  • 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 42nd fatal accident in the coal mining industry reported in calendar year 2001. As of this date in 2000, there were 36 fatalities reported in the coal mining industry. This is the fourth fatal accident classified as a machinery accident in the coal mining industry in 2001. At this time in 2000, there were ten fatal accidents classified as machinery accidents 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