GILLETTE, Wyo. — The Mine Safety and Health Administration says a coal mine fatality in the Powder River Basin could have been prevented with proper maintenance of a power shovel and by sticking to safety training for moving shovels.
Jacob Dowdy had been an employee of Thunder Basin Coal Co., Arch Coal's subsidiary that operates the mine, for about three years. The mine was issued a citation, an imminent-danger order and three violations.
Investigators said Dowdy should not have been allowed to follow the shovel up the hill it was on and that the steering and drive mechanism on the shovel was improperly maintained when it rolled down a ramp and crushed two trucks, killing Dowdy. One other miner was injured.