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COAL MINE FATALITY - On Wednesday, January 26, 2000, a roof bolting machine operator was fatally injured in a rib fall accident. The operators of the double-boom roof bolting machine had just finished installing a row of roof bolts in the crosscut connecting the No. 6 and No. 7 Entries. The operators were preparing to back the machine out of the crosscut to clean loose material from the floor that was hindering installation of the next row of bolts. As the victim walked outby along the right side of the machine, a piece of the rib fell without warning hitting him in the back, crushing him against the roof bolting machine. The rock and coal section of rib measured approximately seven and one half feet in length, 22 inches high and 24 inches thick.

Fatal Gram Graphic

Best Practices

  • A visual examination of the roof, face and ribs should be made immediately before any work is started in an area and thereafter as conditions warrant.

  • Loose ribs should be taken down or adequately supported.

  • Be aware of changing roof and rib conditions and take appropriate actions immediately.

  • Extended cuts should only be taken in areas with competent roof and rib conditions. Shorter cut depths should be taken when adverse roof conditions are encountered.
  • More Information
    E-mail Suggestion for Accident Prevention Program
    Submit your own suggestion for a remedy to prevent this type of accident in the future.
    Please specify if you wish your submission to be anonymous or whether your name may be used. Please include the year of the fatality and the fatality number.

    This is the second fatality reported in calendar year 2000 in the coal mining industry. As of this date in 1999, there were two fatalities.

    The information provided in this notice is based on preliminary data ONLY and does not represent final determinations regarding the nature of the incident or conclusions regarding the cause of the fatality.

    For more information:
    Fatal Alert Bulletin Icon MSHA's Fatal Accident Investigation Report