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COAL MINE FATALITY - On Tuesday, May 18, 2004, a 30-year old mechanic with one year experience was fatally injured while positioning the continuous mining machine for servicing with a remote control unit. The victim was found pinned between the right side of the discharge boom and the coal rib.

Photo of Accident Scene

Best Practices

  • Ensure the continuous mining machine operator and all others are well beyond the turning radius of the machine before starting or moving equipment.
  • Ensure the continuous miner is de-energized before positioning the trailing cable.
  • Alert anyone who will be operating a continuous miner by remote control that controls will move the machine in the opposite direction when facing towards the boom.
  • Establish safe operating procedures for remote control continuous mining machine operations, including tramming and cable handling.
  • Ensure everyone including maintenance personnel are thoroughly task trained before operating the continuous miner by remote control.
  • 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 9th fatality reported in calendar year 2004 in the coal mining industry. As of the accident date in 2003, there were 13 fatalities reported in the coal mining industry. This is the 4th fatality classified as Machinery in 2004 and the second while positioning a remote controlled continuous miner. At this time in 2003, there was one fatality 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