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COAL MINE FATALITY - On Wednesday, April 25, 2012, a 61-year-old demolition contractor with approximately 20 years of experience was killed from injuries received while dismantling a conveyor stacker belt from the surface area of an inactive underground coal mine. The victim had completed the final torch cut on an elevated, inclined stacker frame support beam containing the counter-weight, when the structure fell. The structure contacted the walkway (catwalk) where the victim was located. This section of the walkway, approximately 25 feet long, broke loose from the main structure, causing the victim to fall approximately 27 feet.

Photo of Accident Scene Described in Paragraph Above
Best Practices

  • Establish safe work procedures, which include incorporating the manufacturer's recommendations, to assure that workers are not exposed to hazards when performing maintenance, repairs, or demolition activity.
  • Prior to beginning work, ensure that all workers are trained in safe work procedures.
  • Examine work areas during the shift for hazards that may be created as a result of the work being performed.
  • Before starting any work, clear the area of tripping and stumbling hazards.
  • Provide and maintain safe access to all work areas.
  • Secure structures against unexpected movement when performing demolition work.
  • Use appropriate fall protection where there is a danger of falling.
  • Stay focused on your work for your own safety and the safety of your fellow workers.

  • 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 2012 in the coal mining industry. As of this date in 2011 there were three fatalities reported in the coal mining industry. This is the first fatality classified as a Slip or Fall of Person accident in 2012. At this time in 2011, there was no 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