Kentucky Coal Mine Cited for Tree Fall That Killed Worker in January

May 18, 2022
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The U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration has cited the owners of an eastern Kentucky surface mine where a worker was killed in January by a falling tree, according to a published report.

Nally & Hamilton Enterprises was cited for not following a plan that required removing trees on top of the mine’s highwall and for failing to identify, report and correct a hazardous situation, the federal agency said, according to the Lexington Herald-Leader.

A tree fell from the high wall above the roadway at the Bell County mine in January and struck a vehicle with two workers as it passed. Cecil Collett, of Dryden, Virginia, was killed. Another worker was seriously injured.

The federal agency said Nally & Hamilton did not make sure that trees were cleared a safe distance from the edge of the top of the highwall. In addition, inspections for possible hazardous conditions at the mine were inadequate and contributed to the accident, the mine safety agency concluded.

Weather conditions also likely played a role, with heavy precipitation and cycles of freezing and thawing that caused conditions which loosened support for the tree, the report said.

A monetary penalty or fine was not mentioned in the enforcement action.

Topics Mining Kentucky

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