conveyor belt

Coal Miner Dies in 4th Mining Fatality of 2018

April 26, 2018
The foreman had eight years of experience.

A belt foreman who was splicing an underground conveyor when it inadvertently kicked on is the fourth mining fatality of the year.

On Wednesday, March 28, 2018, the 29-year-old worker, who had eight years of experience, was fatally injured when he became entangled with belt splicing tools as the conveyor belt moved.

The Mine Safety and Health Administration (MHSA) subsequently opened an investigation and provided best practices to prevent future incidents.

Miners should perform the following steps when working on conveyor belts and other machines:

  • Open the circuit breaker that supplies electrical power to the conveyor belt drive.
  • Open the visual disconnect for the cable that supplies electrical power to the conveyor belt drive.
  • Lock out and tag out the visual disconnect yourself and never rely on someone to do this for you.
  • Release the tension in the conveyor belt take-up/storage unit.
  • Block the conveyor belt against motion.
  • Keep the key to the lock at all times while repairs and/or maintenance are performed.
  • Ensure that you are the only person who removes the lock after repairs and/or maintenance are completed.
  • Ensure that no miner is in harm’s way before starting the conveyor belt(s).
  • Provide a visible and/or audible system, with a start-up delay, to warn persons that the conveyor belt will begin moving.
  • Establish policies and procedures for performing specific tasks on conveyor belts and ensure all miners are trained.

The accident marks the second coal mining fatality classified as powered haulage in 2018, according to MSHA. 

About the Author

EHS Today Staff

EHS Today's editorial staff includes:

Dave Blanchard, Editor-in-Chief: During his career Dave has led the editorial management of many of Endeavor Business Media's best-known brands, including IndustryWeekEHS Today, Material Handling & LogisticsLogistics Today, Supply Chain Technology News, and Business Finance. In addition, he serves as senior content director of the annual Safety Leadership Conference. With over 30 years of B2B media experience, Dave literally wrote the book on supply chain management, Supply Chain Management Best Practices (John Wiley & Sons, 2021), which has been translated into several languages and is currently in its third edition. He is a frequent speaker and moderator at major trade shows and conferences, and has won numerous awards for writing and editing. He is a voting member of the jury of the Logistics Hall of Fame, and is a graduate of Northern Illinois University.

Adrienne Selko, Senior Editor: In addition to her roles with EHS Today and the Safety Leadership Conference, Adrienne is also a senior editor at IndustryWeek and has written about many topics, with her current focus on workforce development strategies. She is also a senior editor at Material Handling & Logistics. Previously she was in corporate communications at a medical manufacturing company as well as a large regional bank. She is the author of Do I Have to Wear Garlic Around My Neck?, which made the Cleveland Plain Dealer's best sellers list.

Nicole Stempak, Managing Editor:  Nicole Stempak is managing editor of EHS Today and conference content manager of the Safety Leadership Conference.

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