On March 12, 2007, Charles Griffith, 48, with 29 years of mining experience, was fatally injured at the company’s No. 2 mine while operating a hydraulic excavator. He had worked for Double E for approximately 18 months.
According to the report, the machine rolled over a bench when it was repositioned during spoil loading operations, trapping the worker. The incident occurred at approximately 4.10pm local time.
MSHA said operators should adhere to the following best practices to avoid future similar accidents:
Ensure that the size of the bench is compatible for the type of equipment used and the operation performed;
Conduct a thorough visual examination of highwalls and spoil banks immediately before any work is performed and thereafter as conditions warrant; and
Provide rollover protection for equipment where conditions warrant.
The incident marked the fourth underground coal mining fatality in the United States for 2007. At the same time last year there were 21 coal mining fatalities. The death is the first one under the agency’s classification of Machinery this year; at this time last year there were no fatalities under that classification.