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COAL MINE FATALITY - On January 21, 2003, at approximately 2:00 p.m., a 33-year-old General Laborer with 3 years of mining experience was fatally injured when he contacted an electrically energized metal cart. The victim, employed by an independent contractor, was assisting with the installation of supplemental roof support. A beam had just been cut with a torch. One end of the beam was laying on the cart while the fresh cut end was placed on the mine floor in close proximity to an energized cable. The victim picked up the 3 foot piece of beam that was cut off to place it into the cart. When the victim contacted the cart, he fell over.

Photo of Accident Scene

Best Practices

  • Examine the work area for potential hazards and take actions necessary to protect persons.
  • Ensure electrical cables are properly protected or relocated before beginning work.
  • If metal comes in contact with a cable and damage is suspected, follow this procedure:
  • Ensure all personnel remain clear of the metal and the cable.
  • De-energize the cable.
  • Lock out and tag the cable.
  • Examine the cable for damage.
  • 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.

    Based on the findings of the medical examiner, this fatality was determined to be chargeable to the coal mining industry on April 7, 2003. This is the 9th fatality reported in calendar year 2003 in the coal mining industry. As of April 7, 2002, there were 9 fatalities reported in the coal mining industry. This is the first fatality classified as Electrical in 2003. At this time in 2002, there was one fatality classified as Electrical.

    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