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COAL MINE FATALITY - On Monday, November 5, 2007, at approximately 11:20 a.m., a 45 year old dragline helper with 4 years 28 weeks experience was critically injured when he was struck by the walking shoe as the dragline was rotated. The helper was in the process of attaching a cable from a tugger on the bottom of the machine to a nylon strap wrapped around the trailing cable in preparation of lifting the cable so the dragline could move backwards. As he bent over inside the shoe radius, the dragline rotated and he was struck by the shoe and knocked to the ground beneath the shoe, which continued to rotate. A bulldozer operator observed the accident and radioed the dragline operator to stop. The victim was transported by air ambulance to the hospital where he expired the following morning.

Photo of Accident Site

Best Practices
  • Obtain assurance that the dragline operator has stopped the machine before entering or working within the swing radius of the walking shoes.
  • Maintain direct communications with the dragline operator and ground workers.
  • Always notify the dragline operator before getting on or off the dragline.
  • Before starting or moving the machine, the dragline operator should ensure that all persons are in the clear.
  • 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 27th fatality reported in calendar year 2007 in the coal mining industry. As of this date in 2006, there were 45 fatalities reported in the coal mining industry. This is the third machinery fatality in 2007. At this time in 2006, there were three fatalities in this classification.

    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