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COAL MINE FATALITY -On Thursday, July 15, 1999, a continuous mining machine operator was fatally injured in a rib fall accident. The victim had just completed mining an extended cut and was backing the continuous miner out to clean up the cut in order for the roof bolting machine to enter. A piece of the right coal rib, measuring approximately 14 feet in length, 5 feet high and 3 feet thick, rolled out with no warning, hitting the victim in the back and completely covering him. The miner helper, who was working in close proximity, was also struck and received minor injuries.

Fatal Alert Bulletin Drawing
  • A thorough preshift and onshift examination, of the mine roof and ribs, should be conducted in all active workings prior to any work being done in the area, especially when there is ongoing presence of loose roof or ribs.

  • All miners, especially the foremen, preshift, and onshift examiners, should be trained to visually recognize roof and rib hazards and bar down or support the roof and ribs as needed for the miners' safety.
  • This is the eighteenth fatality reported in calendar year 1999 in the coal mining industry. As of this date in 1998, there were sixteen fatalities. This is the seventh fatality classified as Roof/Rib Fall in 1999.

    For more information:
    MSHA's Fatal Accident Investigation Report [FTL99C18]