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Coal Mine Fatality - On Friday, September 24, 2004, at 11:00 a.m., a 63-year old employee with 8 years of mining experience was fatally injured while attempting to dismount a Caterpillar D4H bull dozer. Apparently the victim trammed his bull dozer onto a sloped berm adjacent to a level graveled roadway. The victim then attempted to dismount the bull dozer with the blade elevated and the parking brake not engaged. During this process the bull dozer apparently began to drift forward, and the victim slipped and fell to the ground in front of the moving bull dozer. The victim was struck by grousers on the left track and received fatal injuries.

Photo of Accident Scene

Best Practices

  • Park mobile equipment on level ground if possible.
  • Set the parking brake and lower the bull dozer blade to the ground before dismounting equipment.
  • Wear footwear that provides good traction (e.g. rubber or neoprene soles) while climbing or descending.
  • Clean foot wear and then maintain 3 points of contact to climb onto or descend from equipment.
  • Ensure that equipment ladders, steps, and platforms are securely anchored, well maintained, and free of slipping and stumbling hazards.
  • Never carry personal items or supplies when climbing or descending equipment.
  • 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 19th fatality reported in the coal mining industry in calendar year 2004, and this is the 5th fatality classified as machinery. As of September 24, 2003, there were 30 fatalities.

    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