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COAL MINE FATALITY - On Monday, August 2, 2004, a 38-year old roof bolter operator with 14 years mining experience, was fatally injured when he was struck by falling roof rock of undetermined length, 18 feet wide, and 0-60 inches in thickness. The victim was working with the section crew and had been installing timbers during retreat mining, shortly before the accident occurred. The victim was located inby the turn timbers, in the number 2 entry, observing the roof conditions for the continuous miner operator, when the roof suddenly fell.

Diagram of Accident Scene

Best Practices

  • Ensure that the provisions of the approved Roof Control Plan are understood and followed by all miners.
  • Ensure that miners are not needlessly positioned near the pillar line or inby turn posts.
  • Be alert for changing roof conditions and install additional roof supports where necessary.
  • Apply additional safety procedures or precautions in areas where geological changes and anomalies in strata, such as cracks, are observed.
  • Conduct a thorough examination of the roof, face, and ribs immediately before any work is performed and thereafter as conditions warrant.
  • 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 15th fatality reported in calendar year 2004 in the coal mining industry. As of the accident date in 2003, there were 21 fatalities reported in the coal mining industry. This is the third fatality classified as Fall of Roof or Back in 2004. At this time in 2003, there were no fatalities classified as Fall of Roof or Back.

    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