The West Virginia mine where the worker died did not follow safety procedures

Charleston, Virginia (AP) – The West Virginia Underground Operator failed to perform proper safety procedures until the death of a service worker whose electric vehicle brakes failed, he lost control and crashed, according to the federal regulator. .

The U.S. Department of Safety and Health has released a final report on the death of 49-year-old Brian Wallen on Nov. 1, assistant chief of maintenance change at Mountaineer II Mingo Logan Coal LLC in Logan County, Sharpeles.

The MSHA stated that the mine operator did not maintain the machine in a safe working condition and did not decommission it.

“The mine operator has committed serious conduct that is more than ordinary negligence,” the statement said.

Wallen, who had 25 years of mining experience, died when the brakes failed and the car crashed and overturned on the bottom of the slope. MSHA said investigators found that the left rear brake caliper had been broken off before the crash and was tied to the car’s frame with a plastic zipper, the parking brake did not work when activated, and the left rear wheel bearings were worn and damaged.

MSHA noted that the mine operator identified the vehicle as a faulty brake system three days before the accident.

Less than 24 hours before the crash, another worker began to lose control of the same vehicle as he descended the slope but was unable to stop it until he reached flat ground, the report said. The car was towed to the surface, but the electrician, who then worked with the battery, was not told about the problems with the brake system and did not carry out any tests and repairs. The electrician later informed the shift supervisor that the vehicle was ready for use again.

The operator has been ordered to conduct preliminary inspections for the presence of safety defects in mobile equipment and to immediately decommission the equipment if safety defects are detected.


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