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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


Travel Under Unsupported Roof

There have been several incidents in recent months of travel out under unsupported roof. Travel under unsupported roof continues to be a major cause of roof fall fatals. The following are excerpts from recent incidents:
    (1) Footprints were observed in the last open crosscut between No. 1 and 2 entries in an area of unsupported mine roof for a distance of 7 feet beyond permanent support. The unsupported area measured 17 feet wide and ranged from 12 to 15 feet long. The unsupported area had been rock dusted.

    (2) Evidence showed that rubber tired equipment had traveled through an area of unsupported mine roof in the crosscut located between No. 1 and No. 7 South return entries. The unsupported area in the crosscut was approximately 35 feet in length and had been cleaned with a scoop and wet rock dusted.

  • Always be aware of conditions around you. Examine your workplace prior to beginning work.
  • Make sure the end of permanent roof supports is posted with a readily visible warning device or physical barrier. Flagging or markers for warning should hang down to at least the line of sight.
  • Communicate with others of changed conditions. When rock dusting, let others know of unsupported roof.
  • Don't be the fall guy ! Don't go under unsupported roof !

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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.