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COAL MINE FATALITY -On Thursday, December 3, 1998, at approximately 3:00 P.M., the victim was operating a Long Airdox single head roof bolting machine in the face area of the No. 3 Entry of the 001-0 working section. While installing the third roof bolt in a row of four, a partial box of resin grout tubes either fell or was knocked off the top of the machine, striking the Automated Temporary Roof Supports (ATRS) control levers. These control levers , which are located on the side of the machine in the tram control deck, are unprotected against unintentional activation. This resulted in the tilt jack being activated and the ATRS folding inward toward the front of the machine, crushing the victim between the machine and the ATRS.

Best Practices

  • The controls for ATRS systems should be protected from unintentional activation either by location, design, guarding or a combination of these.
  • The speed of the tilt motion for the ATRS should be limited to permit the possible deenergization of the machine by the operator should unintentional activation of the ATRS occur.
  • This is the 26th fatality reported in calendar year 1998 in the coal mining industry. As of this date in 1997, there were 27 fatalities. This is the third fatality classified as Machinery in 1998.

    For more information:

    Fatal Alert Bulletin Icon MSHA's Fatal Accident Investigation Report [FTL98C26]