Published on December 17, 2007
2001 Coal Fatalities As of September 16, 200222 Fatalities9 Surface13 Underground: 2001 Coal Fatalities As of September 16, 2002 22 Fatalities 9 Surface 13 Underground Underground—Classification : Underground—Classification Underground—Occupation : Underground—Occupation Underground—Work Activity: Underground—Work Activity Surface—Classification : Surface—Classification Surface—Work Activity: Surface—Work Activity Surface—Occupation : Surface—Occupation Slide9: January 2, 2002, a 44-year old remote control continuous mining machine operator with 23 years of mining experience was fatally injured in a roof fall accident. The victim was mining in the No. 2 right crosscut of the 7 headgate section when roof rock measuring seven feet by five feet by three to five inches in thickness fell in the area where he was standing. The continuous mining machine had sheared off 7 roof bolts when starting this crosscut. The victim was operating the machine while under this unsupported roof at the time of the accident. Slide10: Never work or travel under unsupported roof Hang reflectors or other warning devices prior to mining. When operating a continuous mining machine with a remote control, always maintain a safe distance between you and the machine. Know and follow the provisions of the approved roof control plan. Avoid damage to roof support systems. Slide11: January 24, 2002, a 43 year old general inside laborer was fatally injured while performing electrical work on the 12,470 volt underground power center located on the 001-0 section. During retreat mining a length of high voltage cable was removed. Problems were encountered with re-energizing the power at the substation on the surface after the cable was re-stocked in the section power center. The certified electrician came outside to check on the problem. When power was restored to the section it was discovered that the phasing was wrong. Power was removed from the section to correct the phasing. The victim was working on the leads inside the power center when the 001-0 section power was again re-energized from the surface, resulting in a fatal electrical accident. Always lock and tag out before doing electrical work. Electrical work shall be performed by a qualified electrician or persons trained to do electrical work under the direct supervision of a qualified electrician. High voltage circuits must be grounded at all times while work is being performed. Slide12: January, 31,2002, a miner with 11 years of mining experience was fatally injured when he was hit by a battery powered Stamler Uni-hauler. There were no eye-witnesses, however immediately prior to the accident, the victim was reportedly seen walking from the No. 5 entry toward the No. 4 entry dragging a piece of ventilation curtain. The operator of the Stamler Uni-hauler had just pulled the equipment, battery end first, into the No. 4 entry in order to turn the equipment and start loading coal from the No. 5 entry. The victim was discovered a short time later, lying on the mine floor in the No. 4 entry, and entangled in the piece of ventilation curtain. Slide13: Equipment operators should always insure that they maintain a safe distance between the equipment being operated and the other miners in the area. A warning should be sounded when the equipment operator's visibility is obstructed or when direction of travel is changed. Never position yourself in an area or location where equipment operators cannot readily see you. Slide14: February 18, 2002 at approximately 2:50 P.M., a 39 year old miner with 6 years and 10 months of mining experience was fatally injured by a roof fall. The victim was operating a single head "squirmer" type roof bolting machine installing 42 inch fully grouted resin bolts in the face of number 6 entry of the 003 mining section when the fall occurred. The position of the roof bolting machine exposed him to unsupported roof. The victim was struck by a section of mine roof that measured approximately 21 feet by 19 feet 11 inches by 13 to 16 inches thick. Never work or travel inby supported roof. Always know and follow your approved roof control plan which may have specialized provisions for certain bolting patterns. Always examine the roof, face and ribs immediately before any work is started and periodically as conditions warrant. Slide15: February 20, 2002, a 53-year old roof bolting machine operator, while helping on the continuous mining machine, was fatally injured when he was struck by rock from an unintentional roof fall. The victim was helping the operator of the continuous miner tram the machine into the intersection after completing the last lift of the right pillar block located in the No.4 Entry of the 002-0 section. The roof in the intersection fell with little or no warning, resulting in fatal injuries to the roof bolt machine operator, and serious injuries to the mining machine operator. The fall, consisting of unconsolidated rock ranging from approximately 2 to 10 feet thick, 30 feet long and 30 feet wide, covered the continuous mining machine and partially covered a coal hauler located behind the continuous mining machine. Slide16: Know and follow the provisions of the approved Roof Control Plan. Take additional measures to protect all persons if unusual hazards or conditions are encountered. Always examine the mine roof properly in your work area. Conduct proper pre shift and on shift examinations in all areas prior to mining. Always be alert for changing roof conditions. Never work or travel under unsupported roof. Slide17: March 22, 2002, a 33 year old section foreman was fatally injured when he was caught between the conveyor boom of a continuous mining machine and the coal rib. The victim was using a remote control unit to tram the machine when he was struck by the end of the conveyor boom. Slide18: Continuous mining machine operators should never be located between the machine and the coal rib while the machine is being trammed from place to place by remote control. When moving continuous mining machines around corners, or in other instances where the left and right traction drives are operated independently, low tram speed should be used. The pump motor should be de-energized, and all machine motion stopped, when the trailing cable or water line has to be repositioned in close proximity to the continuous mining machine Slide19: Wednesday, April 10, 2002, a 33 year old continuous mining machine operator, with approximately 9 years mining experience, was fatally injured in a roof fall accident. A rock measuring 4 to 16 inches thick, 100 inches long, and 65 inches wide fell from the mine roof pinning the miner operator against the shuttle car tire. The rock fell at the mouth of the No. 4 right crosscut, from an area inby the last row of bolts, and cantilevered into the bolted area where the miner operator was standing. Miners must know and follow the approved roof control plan Reflectors should be used to warn persons of hazardous areas All miners should receive hazard recognition and safe work practice training Slide20: May 11, 2002, a 46-year-old coal hauler operator was fatally injured when transporting coal from the face to the feeder in the Southwest Mains Section. As the operator was attempting to make a right turn into the crosscut between the number four and three entries, the left rear portion of the coal hauler frame pinched the Joy 14 BU loading machine trailing cable between the right inby rib and the coal hauler. This resulted in the frame of the rubber tired coal hauler becoming energized. The victim apparently exited the machine to check the pinch point, came into contact with the energized machine frame and was electrocuted. Slide21: Provide ample clearance or protection for electrical cables located in haulage ways. Examine haulage ways prior to the start of loading to assure that all electrical cables are positioned to prevent them from being contacted by mobile equipment. Should the haulage machine accidentally pinch a power or trailing cable, the following procedures must be followed: Stay in the vehicle you are operating: DO NOT EXIT THE MACHINE ! Make sure that all persons remain IN THE CLEAR OF THE DAMAGED CABLE AND MACHINE ! Attempt to move the machine away from the cable. If you cannot move the machine away from the pinched/damaged cable, have someone go to the power center to de-energize power to the pinched cable and your machine. Slide22: May 21, 2002, a 50-year-old electrician with 30 years of experience, was fatally injured in an electrical accident. The victim was working on a 480 VAC distribution box that supplied power to a section battery charging station. Apparently, the victim came in contact with an energized bus bar located inside the distribution box. De-energize, lock and tag before doing electrical work, unless testing or troubleshooting Insure that all electrical circuits and circuit breakers are properly identified before troubleshooting or performing electrical work Insure that electrical work is preformed by qualified electricians or properly trained persons under the direct supervision of a qualified electrician Wear proper protective gloves to prevent injuries when electrical troubleshooting activities are being conducted Slide23: June 20, 2002, a 55 year old utility man with 31 years mining experience was found trapped between the frame of the number 12 bunker car and the upright beam attached to the catwalk that provided access to the bunker area. He was assigned to work on the old bunker in the "A" shaft area of the mine. Repairs or maintenance should not be performed on machinery until the machinery is blocked against motion. All power circuits and electrical equipment shall be de-energized before any work is performed on such equipment. Slide24: May 23, 2002, a 58-year-old electrician sustained serious injuries as a result of an electrical accident. The victim was located beside the section power center when an electrical arc at the female receptacle of a shuttle car occurred causing severe burns to the victim. According to statements obtained during interviews, the victim was attempting to find a fault in the shuttle car cable when the accident occurred. Following the accident, the victim remained hospitalized, until he died from his injuries on June 27, 2002. Always use proper diagnostic equipment while trouble shooting or testing. Insure that qualified electricians perform all electrical work or properly trained persons under direct supervision of a qualified electrician. Always wear protective gloves when performing tasks that may cause injuries to the hands. Slide25: August 12, 2002, at approximately 1:45 p.m., a 23 year old miner was killed when his head was caught between the conveyor boom of the continuous mining machine and the mine roof. The continuous mining machine operator and victim were moving the mining machine from the working section to the surface for repairs. About half way to the surface, the front of the machine dropped over a small ledge in the mine floor causing the conveyor boom to strike the roof. The victim, who had been assisting with the continuous miner cable, was caught between the boom and roof. The victim's regular job title was greaser. He had 6 months and 10 days of mining experience. . Establish procedures for moving machinery and equipment. Assure that personnel do not position themselves in proximity to moving machinery. Maintain clear visibility with all personnel in the vicinity of moving equipment. Keep trailing cables on the operator's side of the machine when moving the machine. Slide26: August 19, 2002, at approximately 9:00 p.m., a 29 year-old construction worker, with two months experience, sustained fatal injuries from a rib roll approximately 1473 feet inby the portal of a slope-sinking operation. The victim was gathering tools in a plastic bucket to be transported to the surface when a rock measuring 8 1/2 feet in length by 3 feet in width by 2 feet thick rolled out from the rib causing fatal injuries. Always work and travel under supported roof and secure ribs. Apply additional safety precautions in areas where geological changes and anomalies in strata are present. Frequently test the roof and ribs with a sounding device. Scale loose materials using the proper equipment from a safe distance. Assure that sufficient bolt coverage occurs across roof/rib in non-rectangular openings. Slide27: January 28, 2002, a clean coal filter drain pump exploded due to steam build up within the pump, inflicting fatal injuries to the fine coal operator at a preparation plant of an underground mine. The victim was standing approximately 8 feet away at the on/off switch when the pump cover struck him. The pump overheated after almost all liquids had been pumped from the filter drain tank causing the remaining fines to solidify, thus preventing flow. The inlet and discharge lines then became clogged with coal fines causing the pump to become a closed pressure vessel. For pumps which may overheat due to loss of fluids or from cavitation: Provide pump housing with thermal sensing device that will de-energize the circuit. Provide pump with remotely located on/off controls. Never de-energize an overheated pump from close proximity. Install cut-off valves or other devices to prohibit back-flow of water into overheated pumps. Slide28: February 20, 2002, a 49-year old miner was killed by a fall of rock from a highwall at a surface coal mine. The miner was operating a Caterpillar Model 834 rubber tire bulldozer, cleaning the pit floor at the No. 8 shovel, when rock and material fell from the highwall striking the bulldozer. The massive block of material crushed the cab causing fatal injuries. The bulldozer was equipped with a falling object protective structure (FOPS)/ rollover protective structure (ROPS), which was not sufficient to prevent fatal injury to the operator. The ROPS/FOPS and cab were removed during recovery operations and are not visible in the picture below. Highwalls and work areas should be thoroughly examined for hazardous conditions and any loose material should be scaled from the highwall. Mining systems should ensure that equipment operating personnel's work or travel areas are a safe distance from the toe of the highwall. Personnel should be thoroughly trained in the requirements of the company's ground control plan. Slide29: February 27, 2002, a 43-year old truck driver, employed by an independent trucking company, was fatally injured while loading an over-the-road haul truck at a surface load-out of an underground coal mine. The driver had loaded coal into both of the 20-ton, bottom-dump trailers that were connected to the truck, but coal had spilled over the side of the second trailer. The driver got out of the truck to check the spillage, setting the tractor brakes but not the trailer brakes. While he was outside, the truck began moving down the road that had an approximate 6% grade. The driver attempted to re-enter the truck and was thrown from the truck, and then hit by this same truck. The truck traveled approximately 200 feet before striking a hillside and coming to a rest. The driver had about one year of experience as a truck driver, and this was his first trip to the load-out where the accident occurred. Set all brakes before dismounting or leaving a truck. Know the truck's capabilities, operating ranges, load-limits and safety features. Provide hazard training for all new drivers at each mine site and load-out facility. Provide task training for all new task preformed by a miner. Block wheels to prevent movement when parking trucks on a steep grade. Know and understand safe self-loading procedures thoroughly. Slide30: April 26, 2002, a 61-year old mechanic/welder, with 16 years of mining experience, was fatally injured in a powered haulage accident while fueling a Caterpillar D11 bulldozer in the pit of a surface coal mine. While fueling the bulldozer, the victim's service truck began to roll away, down a 6-8% grade toward a Liebherr haul truck. The victim ran after the service truck, mounted the running board, and apparently slipped off and fell under the rear tandem wheels. The truck continued another 35 feet, struck the front of the Liebherr haul truck, and stopped. The service truck traveled approximately 225 feet before hitting the haul truck. Wheel chocks were found at the site. They appeared to have been used, but did not prevent the truck from moving downhill. Do not leave mobile equipment unattended unless the brakes are set. When mobile equipment is left unattended on a grade, turn the wheels into a bank or berm, or properly block them. During task training, emphasize proper methods of blocking the wheels of parked equipment. Perform tasks such as refueling on level ground, whenever possible. Slide31: June 28, 2002, at approximately 5:50 A.M., a 49-year-old truck driver was fatally injured when the truck he was operating (a 50-ton 773B Caterpillar) backed through a haul road berm prior to reaching the dump point, the truck overturned and slid down a steep slope into a coal slurry impoundment. The driver was recovered from the impoundment at 1:25 P.M. and transported to a local medical facility where he was pronounced dead. Never allow vehicles to travel in reverse for extended distances when it is possible to travel forward. Clearly mark dump locations with reflectors and/or markers. Arrange dump locations such that drivers may use the driver's side mirrors for visibility while backing. Maintain proper berms along all haul roads. Maintain adequate illumination on trucks and/or dump sites. Slide32: July 10, 2002, a 44-year old mechanic/ truck driver, employed by an independent trucking company, was fatally injured while performing repair work on a coal haul truck. The transmission had become locked in gear and the mechanic was summoned to repair the truck. While attempting to free the transmission, the mechanic positioned himself under the truck to remove the drive shaft. When the drive shaft was removed, the truck rolled forward crushing the mechanic under the right rear set of tandem wheels. The parking brake had not been set and the truck had not been blocked to prevent movement (blocking shown was provided after the accident). Always set the parking brakes and block machinery against motion before repairs are performed. Know and follow safe work procedures before beginning repairs. Examine work areas before starting work. Slide33: August 13, 2002 at approximately 3:00 a.m., a 66-year-old highwall drill operator was fatally injured when he fell twenty-three feet off the edge of a highwall. The victim was walking from his truck along the drill bench to his highwall drill in dark and foggy conditions when the accident occurred. The victim was able to call for help using a cell phone. The victim was rescued, however, he later expired as a result of injuries. Provide and use appropriate lighting in work areas after dark. Establish and use designated travelways to travel to and from work areas. Always be aware of your surroundings and any hazards that may be present. Slide34: August 27, 2002, a 40-year-old coal auger operator died after he entered a 30-inch diameter auger hole that he was drilling. The auger had penetrated two previously drilled auger holes. The victim entered the hole to determine the angle and depth of the previously drilled holes. The auger hole he entered had penetrated the coal seam 144 feet. He was apparently overcome by the lack of oxygen approximately 120 feet into the hole. Two co-workers tried to rescue the victim but became dizzy and had to exit the hole. Never enter an auger hole. Barricade, block or backfill auger holes to prevent unauthorized entry. Slide35: August 30, 2002, a 34 year old truck driver was fatally injured while operating a Volvo A30C articulating truck. The victim had stopped the truck to be loaded by an excavator when the truck suddenly moved forward and over a steep embankment. The truck traveled approximately 1000 feet down the slope and eventually came to rest on the main haul road. Examine haulage equipment for safety defects before operation. Immediately report mechanical safety defects to mine management. Implement a preventive maintenance program for all haulage equipment. The maintenance program should be comprehensive enough to ensure that critical safety systems such as brakes and steering are operational at all times. Construct and maintain berms properly on the outer bank of all elevated roadways. Slide36: MORE MORE Slide37: December 17, 2001, at approximately 11:50 a.m., a surface machinery accident occurred which resulted in fatal injuries to an Equipment Operator. The victim was working toward the installation of a de-watering pump along the access road leading to the flooded 01 pit. The work involved the use of a Model D6D Caterpillar bulldozer along an approximate 13% grade. For reasons unknown at this time, the machine overturned. The bulldozer was found approximately 90 feet down the access road lying on its left side with the victim pinned between the rollover protection and the ground. There were no eyewitnesses to the accident. Especially when operating machinery, workers should always be attentive to changes in ground conditions and visibility. All personnel, who operate mobile equipment, should be instructed to wear their seatbelts, where required, at all times when the equipment is in motion. Workers and mine management should always be alert to changing weather conditions and insure that proper examinations are made after every rain, freeze or thaw, prior to entering specified work areas. Slide38: During 2001, eight explosions have occurred at metal/nonmetal mining operations. These accidents resulted in one fatality and nine nonfatal injuries. MSHA believes each of these accidents could have been prevented. We request that mine operators reevaluate all work procedures now in place regarding handling, storage or use of explosive fuels or dust. We have compiled a brief synopsis addressing each event gleaned from the preliminary information reported to MSHA. This information is not intended to replace the investigation findings pertaining to these accidents. Slide39: February 7, 2001- An explosion occurred in the dust collector for the pulverized coal fuel system at a cement operation in Virginia. Temperature spikes reached 170 degrees Fahrenheit which indicated problems in the coal grinding mill. Subsequently, hot embers were transported from the coal mill through the cyclone into the dust collector bag house where they initiated the explosion. February 8, 2001- An explosion occurred in the kiln at a cement operation in Pennsylvania. Two natural gas lines were lit and inserted into the kiln during the pre-heat, start-up procedure. After it was determined that the flames appeared to be extinguished, one of the lines was removed and relit. As the line was being reinserted into the kiln, it ignited the accumulation of gas. Slide40: March 20, 2001- An explosion occurred inside an enclosed weigh scale sump at a crushed stone operation in Wisconsin. A lit, hand-held propane torch had been placed inside the sump to thaw a build up of ice. The flame extinguished, allowing an explosive mixture of gases to accumulate. When a second lit torch was placed in the sump, it ignited the explosive gases. April 2, 2001- An explosion occurred in the coal grinding mill at a cement operation in Alabama. The explosion, which was initiated by hot embers generated in the coal mill, damaged the grinding mill, the cyclone and the duct work of the pulverized coal feed system. May 3, 2001- An explosion occurred in a transfer chute at a cement operation in California. The access door had been opened and a miner was removing built-up material with an air lance. It is believed that the metal to metal contact generated by the air lance on the side of the chute provided the ignition source that ignited the coal dust. Slide41: May 19, 2001- An explosion occurred in a kiln at a clay operation in Texas. The kiln had been taken off- line and several repairmen had entered it to perform maintenance. As the repair was being done, an accumulation of organic dust fell and traveled through the piping into the combustion chamber where it was ignited by hot material. May 30, 2001- An explosion occurred in the storage bin of the indirect fired, pulverized coal feed system at a cement plant in Virginia. A fire was detected in the bin and carbon dioxide was introduced into the closed system. The coal feed was stopped and the bin was emptied. When the coal feed was restarted, hot embers remaining in the bin ignited the coal dust. May 31, 2001- An explosion occurred in a kiln at a cement operation in Missouri. Propane was being used to pre-heat the kiln during the start-up procedure. The flame extinguished and the kiln filled with gas which was subsequently ignited.