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COAL MINE FATALITY-On Thursday, July 22, 1999, a roof bolting machine operator was fatally injured in a roof fall accident. The victim was operating a single-head roof bolting machine in an extended miner cut, that had been mined to a depth that exceeded the maximum distance allowed in the approved roof control plan. The victim was installing a roof bolt out of sequence, along the right rib-line, with his back to the unsupported area when the unsupported area fell. A piece of mine roof approximately 7 feet long, 5 feet wide and 1 foot thick, struck the victim, pinning him against the roof bolting machine, resulting in fatal injuries.

Fatal Alert Bulletin Drawing
  • All miners, especially roof bolting machine operators, should know and follow the approved roof control plan at all times.

  • All miners should be instructed to check their work area for hazardous roof and rib conditions prior to performing work in the area.

  • When adverse conditions are encountered, additional measures should be taken to ensure the safety of miners.
  • This is the 19th fatality reported in calendar year 1999 in the coal mining industry. As of this date in 1998, there were 17 fatalities. This is the fifth fatality classified as Roof Fall in 1999.

    For more information:
    MSHA's Fatal Accident Investigation Report [FTL99C19]