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COAL MINE FATALITY - On Friday, April 18, 2008, a 43-year old continuous miner operator with 3� years experience was fatally injured while operating a continuous miner with an attached mobile bridge conveyor system. As the victim was positioning the continuous miner in a crosscut turning right, the inby mobile bridge operator felt an unusual bouncing of the bridge and failed to get a radio response from the miner operator. The bridge operator shut the system down using the emergency stop switch and crawled toward the face and discovered the victim pinned between the basket of the bridge and the left rib.

Photo of Accident Scene Described in the paragraph above

Best Practices
  • Frequently review, retrain, and discuss avoiding the "RED ZONE" areas when operating or working near a remote controlled continuous mining machine.
  • Follow established safe work practices and provide periodic training along with checks to ensure that the safe work practices have been properly implemented.
  • Pursue new technology such as proximity detection to protect personnel and eliminate accidents of this type.
  • Minimize the number of miners working or traveling near operating systems and maintain an effective means of communications between miners and system operators.
  • 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 seventh fatality reported in calendar year 2008 in the coal mining industry. As of this date in 2007, there were seven fatalities in the coal mining industry. This is the third Machinery fatality in 2008. At this time in 2007, there was one fatality 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