Another portion of the rib struck and seriously injured the continuous mining machine operator. The machine operator was located near the right outby end of the machine, operating the machine by remote control.
A visual examination of the roof, face, and ribs should be made immediately before any work is started in an area and thereafter as conditions warrant.
Loose ribs should be taken down or adequately supported.
Utilize mining methods to help eliminate overhanging brows.
Proper positioning of personnel in safe locations relating to ribs and machinery is essential in reducing exposure to hazards and eliminating accidents.
This is the third coal mine fatality in 1999. As of January 29th of last year there had been three fatalities. This death is the first classified as Fall of Rib in 1999.
For more information:
MSHA's Fatal Accident Investigation Report [FTL99C03]