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COAL MINE FATALITY - On Thursday, January 24, 2002, a 43 year old general inside laborer was fatally injured while performing electrical work on the 12,470 volt underground power center located on the 001-0 section. During retreat mining a length of high voltage cable was removed. Problems were encountered with re-energizing the power at the substation on the surface after the cable was re-stocked in the section power center. The certified electrician came outside to check on the problem. When power was restored to the section it was discovered that the phasing was wrong. Power was removed from the section to correct the phasing. The victim was working on the leads inside the power center when the 001-0 section power was again re-energized from the surface, resulting in a fatal electrical accident.

Drawing Depicting Accident Scene

Best Practices

  • Always lock and tag out before doing electrical work.

  • Electrical work shall be performed by a qualified electrician or persons trained to do electrical work under the direct supervision of a qualified electrician.

  • High voltage circuits must be grounded at all times while work is being performed.
  • 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 2nd fatal accident, reported in calendar year 2002, for the coal mining industry. As of this date in 2001, there were no fatals reported for the coal mining industry. This is the first fatal accident, classified as electrical for the coal mining industry in 2002. At this time in 2001, there were no fatal accidents, classified as electrical, for 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