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COAL MINE FATALITY - At about 11:30 p.m. on Monday, December 29, 2008, a foreman working at a coal load out facility was reported missing. The victim was last seen about two hours before, walking onto an empty barge that was in line to be loaded. A search was conducted of the surface areas, the load out facility, the empty fleet, and the river. The victim was recovered from the river approximately 300 yards down stream from the area where six partially loaded barges were located.

Photograph of accident scene described in paragraph above

Best Practices
  • Always wear a life jacket when working around bodies of water.
  • Carry and use adequate lighting when working after dark.
  • Ensure safe access is provided where persons are required to work or travel. Watch footing and stay clear of ropes, cables, and hawsers.
  • Where possible, install and use lifeline tie-off runs and fall protection.
  • Set up a communications schedule when persons work alone.
  • Utilize an on-person electronic emergency warning to notify others immediately of a mishap.
  • 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 30th fatality reported for calendar year 2008 in the coal mining industry. As of this date in 2007, there were 34 fatalities reported in the coal mining industry. This is the second fatality classified as "Other" in 2008. At this time in 2007, there were no 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