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COAL MINE FATALITY - - On Monday, August 19, 2002, at approximately 9:00 p.m., a 29 year-old construction worker, with two months experience, sustained fatal injuries from a rib roll approximately 1473 feet inby the portal of a slope-sinking operation. The victim was gathering tools in a plastic bucket to be transported to the surface when a rock measuring 8 1/2 feet in length by 3 feet in width by 2 feet thick rolled out from the rib causing fatal injuries.

Photo of Accident Scene

Best Practices

  • Always work and travel under supported roof and secure ribs.
  • Apply additional safety precautions in areas where geological changes and anomalies in strata are present.
  • Frequently test the roof and ribs with a sounding device.
  • Scale loose materials using the proper equipment from a safe distance.
  • Assure that sufficient bolt coverage occurs across roof/rib in non-rectangular openings.
  • 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 20th fatal accident reported in calendar year 2002 in the coal mining industry. As of this date in 2001, there were 13 fatal accidents reported in the coal mining industry. This is the second fatal accident classified as Fall of Rib/Highwall in 2002. At this same time in 2001, there were no fatal accidents in the coal mining industry classified as Fall of Rib/Highwall.

    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