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District 8 - Coal Mine Safety and Health
Info-Grams and Close Call Accidents

Close Call Graphic Department of Labor
Mine Safety and Health Administration

JUNE 2000

Roof Fall Accident
3 Miners - Near Miss

Roof Fall Near Miss - 3 MinersA serious roof fall accident recently occurred at one of the District 8 area mines. The continuous mining machine was positioned on the right side of the MMU's Number 3 Entry, finishing or cleaning up the cut and loading into a waiting ramcar. The cut being mined was approximately 32 feet deep. Without warning, the fall originated in the unsupported area of the cut, pulling about six rows of fully grouted, four foot roof bolts. The roof fall covered portions of the continuous miner and the ram car. The two mining machine operators were uninjured by the fall. Both were positioned on the right side of the machine in an offset that had previously been driven off sights. The ramcar operator, located in the deck of the machine was also uninjured. The fall had slickensided surfaces and a rider seam of coal, about three to six inches thick, was also visible in the fall cavity. These conditions most likely contributed to the fall. The foreman and two continuous miner operators indicated that the roof sounded “drummy” when tested at the last row of installed roof bolts.
  • Know your immediate roof conditions.
  • Frequent and thorough roof / rib examinations should always be made.
  • All miners should be constantly aware of changing roof conditions and inform others of any changes.
  • When conditions warrant, more frequent test holes should be drilled.

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This information was provided by concerned miners in an effort to eliminate accidents. Accident or "close call" information within District 8 may be shared by contacting the MSHA office at (812) 882-7617.