Skip to content
PDF Version

COAL MINE FATALITY - On Monday, November 10, 2003, a 30-year old independent contractor employee with two weeks of experience was fatally injured while clearing trees and brush in advance of mining operations at a surface mine. The victim was in the process of making the second cut with a chain saw when the tree split. The base of the tree rapidly moved upward, striking him in the head.

Photo of Accident Scene

Best Practices

  • Know and follow proper tree felling practices.
  • Clear a fall path and landing zone and consider the lean of the tree and the slope of the ground.
  • Provide adequate training for all employees on proper work procedures and hazard recognition and avoidance.
  • Wear properly maintained personal protective equipment which may prevent or reduce the severity of an injury.
  • Always position yourself away from potential hazards, and always have a route of escape available.
  • 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 was the 30th fatality in the coal mining industry in 2003 and the 7th fatality classified as Machinery. As of this date in 2002, there had been 23 fatalities including two 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