On October 17, 2017, a miner was fatally injured while operating a bulldozer on a downward slope. While pushing overburden to a rock bench below the top of the pit, he was ejected from the cab and run over by the left track. The machine continued to tram over the edge of the 58′ highwall.

Best Practices

  • Always wear a seatbelt when operating mobile equipment.
  • Never jump from moving mobile equipment.
  • Ensure that persons are trained, including task-training, to understand the hazards associated with the work being performed.
  • Block the dozer against motion by setting the parking brake and lowering the blade to the ground before dismounting equipment.  Set the transmission lock lever to ensure the transmission is in neutral.
  • Establish and discuss safe work procedures before beginning work. Identify and control all hazards associated with the work to be performed and use methods to properly protect persons.
  • Do not place yourself in a position that will expose you to hazards while performing a task.
  • Maintain control of mobile equipment while it is in motion.
  • Maintain equipment braking systems in good repair and adjustment. Do not depend on hydraulic systems to hold mobile equipment stationary.

Click here for: MSHA Preliminary Report (pdf)

On September 20, 2017, a contractor was fatally injured while rappelling within a conditioning tower.  The victim was examining the inside of a 300’ vertical conditioning tower when an object fell from above and struck him in the head. The victim was conscious and transported to a local hospital where he died of his injuries the next day.

Best Practices

  • Remove all loose materials and other hazards before working.
  • Have fall protection and available and ready for use.
  • Check bin atmosphere for oxygen content, combustible gases, and toxic contaminants.
  • Provide adequate lighting.
  • Be sure the person entering the bin is trained in safe entry and confined space procedures.
  • Have standby personnel available to observe and to assist in an emergency.

Click here for: MSHA Preliminary Report (pdf)

On Monday, October 23, 2017, a 48-year-old mine examiner with 19 years of mining experience, received fatal injuries after he fell on the No. 1 conveyor belt near the transfer point with the No. 2 conveyor belt and was transported by the belt conveyor system to the raw coal pile. It appears he was attempting to cross the No. 1 conveyor belt at the time of the accident.

Best Practices

  • Never attempt to cross a moving conveyor belt, except at suitable crossing facilities.
  • Train all employees thoroughly on the dangers of working on or traveling around moving conveyor belts.
  • Provide conveyor belt stop and start controls at areas where miners must access both sides of the belt.
  • Install practical and usable belt crossing facilities at strategic locations, including near controls, when height allows.
  • Install pull cords to disconnect power to the conveyor belt at strategic locations along the conveyor belt.

Click here for: MSHA Preliminary Report (pdf)

On Thursday, September 28, 2017, a 39-year-old miner with ten years of mining experience received fatal injuries when coal from the longwall face rolled out and completely covered him. The victim was assisting with roof bolting by untangling the mesh during the longwall recovery process. At the time of the accident, the victim was located between the coal face and the pan line.

Best Practices

  • DO NOT ENTER the panline, or any immediate work area, unless the roof and longwall face have been made safe. This includes reducing exposure by minimizing the distance from the face to the tips of the shield.
  • Scale roof, face, and ribs with a bar of suitable length and design or other safe means.
  • Ensure miners are trained on the minimum requirements of the approved roof control plan.
  • Conduct thorough and more frequent examinations of the roof, face, and ribs when miners work or travel close to the longwall face, and continuously monitor for changing conditions
  • Before beginning a longwall recovery, ensure miners are trained to recognize the hazards associated with the recovery area.
  • Be aware of and correct potential hazards when working or traveling near mine ribs, especially when conditions exist that could cause roof or rib disturbance.

Click here for: MSHA Preliminary Report (pdf)