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COAL MINE FATALITY - On Thursday, January 22, 2004, at approximately 11:00 p.m., a 29-year-old laborer with seven years experience was fatally injured on the surface of an underground coal mine. The victim was operating an Eimco 975 diesel-powered utility vehicle to obtain a water tank trailer when he collided with the canopy of a longwall shield that was stored in the supply yard. The collision resulted in fatal injuries. The utility vehicle was not equipped with a protective cab or canopy.

NOTE: The shield is shown after being rotated about 60º after the accident.

Best Practices

  • Ensure that surface work areas are sufficiently illuminated at night so that obstacles can be clearly seen.
  • Equipment operators should always look in the direction of movement.
  • Design and arrange equipment storage yards to provide safe access and egress.
  • Equipment operators should be aware of their surroundings and any potential hazards.
  • Routinely monitor work habits and examine work areas to ensure that safe work procedures are being followed.
  • In addition to mandatory applications, consider providing protective cabs, canopies, or vertical intrusion shielding pipes on mobile equipment whenever mining height permits.
  • 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 powered haulage accident is the second fatality reported in calendar year 2004 in the coal mining industry. As of the accident date in 2003, four fatalities were reported in the coal mining industry. There were ten fatalities classified as powered haulage in 2003.

    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