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COAL MINE FATALITY - - On Friday, March 25, 2011, a 54-year old continuous mining machine operator with 35 years of experience was killed when he was caught between the coal rib and the conveyor boom of the remote controlled continuous mining machine he was operating.

Photo of Accident Scene

Best Practices

  • AVOID "RED ZONES"!!! Prior to tramming the continuous mining machine to a new place, ensure the machine operator is positioned outside the turning radius of the machine.
  • Prior to tramming the continuous mining machine to a new place, ensure the tip of the conveyor boom is positioned on the side of the mining machine opposite to the side where the machine operator is located.
    Install MSHA approved Proximity Detection Systems on continuous mining machines.
  • Assign another miner to assist the continuous mining machine operator. Train all persons in the programs, policies, and procedures for operating or working near remote controlled continuous mining machines. Additional information on preventing these types of accidents can be found at: MSHA's Safety Targets Program Hit By Underground 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 fourth fatality reported during calendar year 2011 in the coal mining industry. This is the third fatality classified as a Machinery accident in 2011. Two coal mine fatalities occurred in 2010 within the same period. No machinery accidents occurred during the same period in 2010.

    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