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Shuttle car strikes and kills mine surveyor | Final report

shuttle car strikes mineworker in US mine
An experienced mineworker was struck and killed by a shuttlecar in an underground mine

The US Mine Safety and Health Administration have released a report into the death of an underground mine surveyor who was hit and killed by a Joy shuttle car.

On Monday, January 14, 2019, at approximately 11:10 a.m., Jeffery N. Slone, a 56-year-old survey crew member with 30 years of mining experience, was fatally injured when he was struck by a shuttle car travelling to the coal feeder.  At the time of the accident, Slone was taking measurements of the mining height as part of his surveying duties.

MSHA said the accident occurred because the mine operator did not have effective policies, procedures, and controls to protect miners who are on foot from being contacted by moving mobile face equipment.

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On January 17, 2019, the mine operator submitted, and MSHA approved, a revision to the roof control plan that contains the following safety measures to protect miners travelling on foot on the working section.

  • All persons entering the mine will wear a permissible LED light on the back of their hard hat.
  • Survey crew members will notify the mine operator of the working section to which they will be travelling.
    1. The mine operator will notify the miners on the working section;
    2. The survey crew will only work on the opposite side of the section of the mining activity.  If the survey crew is in the belt entry, all mining activities will cease;
    3. Long reflective markers will be hung in each crosscut from the feeder to the face to show where the survey crew is working;
    4. When the survey crew is finished they will notify the mine operator who will notify the miners on the working section.

On January 20, 2019, all miners were trained by the mine operator on the provisions of the revised roof control plan.  Documentation of miners receiving the training was provided.

The No. 4 shuttle car has been removed from service until a camera system is installed on the shuttle car.  The camera system will enable the shuttle car operator to have greater visibility in the area where the victim was located.  Camera systems were also installed on the other shuttle cars.

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