Skip to content
PDF Version

COAL MINE FATALITY - On Wednesday, February 16, 2005 at 5:20 p.m., a 28-year old laborer fell onto a concrete slab from a height of 16 feet 9 inches, resulting in fatal injuries. During the shift, the victim and a co-worker had been installing hand rails and toe boards around the second floor of an idle preparation plant that was in the process of being refurbished. The accident occurred at the end of the shift as the victim was in the process of putting away his tools. The other worker had left the area to turn off the oxygen and acetylene tanks and did not see the accident occur, but found the victim lying on the concrete surface below an area that had not been guarded to protect persons from falling.

Photo of Accident Scene

Best Practices

  • Always use fall protection equipment, safety belts and lines, when working near elevated openings where there is a danger of falling.
  • Protect and guard all openings through which persons my fall.
  • Keep work areas clear of all extraneous materials and other stumbling or slipping hazards.
  • Establish, and train personnel in, safe work procedures regarding the removal and installation of hand-rails and toe-boards during maintenance and construction.
  • Install temporary barriers such as chain or rope first, and remove them when the project is completed.
  • Work place examinations should be made by competent persons to identify hazards associated with construction.
  • 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 first fatality reported in calendar year 2005 in the coal mining industry. As of this date in 2004, there were six fatalities reported in coal mining. This is the first fatality classified as slip or fall of person in 2005. There were no fatalities in this category at this time in 2004.

    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