Hydraulic Leak, Lack of Safety Block Contributed to Wyoming Mine Death

November 14, 2014

A hydraulic leak and the failure to use a safety block contributed to the crushing death of a contractor at a Wyoming coal mine.

The Mine Safety and Health Administration investigated the June 6 death of 25-year-old Joshua L. Wishard at Peabody Energy’s North Antelope Rochelle mine.

Wishard and another man, who worked for Rogers Construction Inc., had removed a large rock stuck in a crusher. The other man left to put fuel in a backhoe and a hydraulic leak caused the crusher hood to slowly lower and pin Wishard.

The Gillette News Record reports a safety block that would have stopped the hood from lowering had been removed.

Rogers is now emphasizing the need to power the machine off and put both safety blocks in place before reaching in or inspecting it.

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