Investigation report released on the coal miner who died in October at the Bell County surface mine

Published: Jan. 15, 2021 at 6:23 PM EST
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HAZARD, Ky. (WYMT/Herald-Leader) - On Friday, an investigation report was released on the death of Douglas Slusher at the Bell County surface mines in October.

It was concluded that Slusher’s death was due to a safety failure while he and his team were hydroseeding at the mine.

Slusher had been instructed to change the hydroseeder discharge nozzle but had not been told to turn off the engine of the hydroseeder before doing this task.

After later looking into his record, it was also found that Slusher had not taken the required refresher training.

Slusher had completed the task of changing the discharge nozzle while the engine was running. Once the change was complete he grabbed the clutch.

The discharge nozzle was pointing directly towards him with the engine on when the clutch was engaged, causing the hydroseeder to immediately spray Slusher with a mixture at roughly 400 gallons per minute.

This knocked Slusher into the railing of the hydroseeder unit where he died on impact.

You can view the investigation report on Slusher here.

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