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COAL MINE FATALITY - - On Tuesday, March 25, 2014, at approximately 1:45 a.m., a 41-year-old mechanic trainee with 23 weeks of mining experience was killed while working on a belt feeder. The victim was cutting through the inner left side plate of the crawler assembly that connects the hopper jack assemblies to the crawler frame. When the cut was completed, the crawler assembly pivoted upward, pinning the victim between the crawler track and the frame of the feeder.

Photo of Accident Scene Described in Paragraph Above

Best Practices

  • Ensure that all stored energy is released or controlled before initiating repairs.
  • Securely block equipment against all hazardous motion at all times while performing maintenance work. Take extra precautions if it is possible for the equipment to move in multiple directions.
  • Always be aware of your location in relation to machine parts that can move.  Examine work areas for hazards that may be created as a result of the work being performed.
  • Establish and discuss safe work procedures before beginning work.  Identify and control all hazards associated with the work to be performed to ensure miners are protected.
  • Study the manufacturer's maintenance manual for safety precautions and recommended blocking securing procedures BEFORE initiating repairs.
  • If specified, always use the manufacturer’s safety device(s) or features for securing components against motion.
  • See additional information on blocking against motion:


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 third fatality reported during calendar year 2014 in the coal mining industry. As of this date in 2013, there were eight fatalities reported in coal mining. This is the second fatality classified as Machinery in 2014. At this time in 2013, there were two 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 - Not Available Yet