Warrior Coal received a citation for violating federal rules after a miner was struck and killed in an entryway.
The violation is revealed in the final report by the Mining Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) on the death of Jeremy Elder. The veteran Hanson miner died Thursday, Sept. 5, when a battery-powered scoop struck him in the Cardinal Mine.
The report issued Wednesday says a scoop operator “did not give an audible warning” before moving it through a ventilation curtain and into an entryway. Elder, 39, was sitting on the other side of the curtain stretching his legs because of cramps.
The report indicates a mining machine operator saw potential trouble and yelled for the scoop operator to stop. But Elder died immediately from the collision.
The report shows the MSHA was completing a regular safety and health inspection of Cardinal Mine when the death occurred.
It’s not clear if the citation includes a fine. An inquiry about that Thursday to the Labor Department in Washington brought no answer by press deadline. A call to parent company Alliance Coal in Oklahoma for a comment brought no response.
In addition to the citation, the MSHA also issued a four-point “safeguard” notice to Warrior Coal. It led to the company developing a new six-point written safety policy. The points include:
• miners on foot keeping a “safe distance” from ventilation curtains, unless their normal job requires them to be close.
• all scoops stopping to “give an audible alarm” before proceeding through curtains.
• miners on foot in active working areas wearing “an operating, flashing personal safety light.”
• hanging flashing lights on the opposite sides of ventilation curtains when miners are working close to them.
An MSHA database called the Mine Data Retrieval System shows since Elder’s death in September, two incidents at the Cardinal Mine have been labeled as “accidents.”
An unplanned roof fall occurred Saturday, Nov. 30, followed by the discovery of a strained hoist rope Saturday, Dec. 21, which was replaced. No one was hurt in either case.