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COAL MINE FATALITY - On Tuesday, August 17, 2004, a 57-year old continuous mining machine integral roof bolter operator with 13 years of mining experience was fatally injured in a rib roll accident. The crew had mined a crosscut through (from no. 5 to no. 6 entry) when the miner operator warned the victim the rib was working. The victim withdrew approximately 3 feet outby the right side rib protector shield, toward the rear of the continuous mining machine, when the rib rolled and pinned him against the machine. The rock and coal rib that fell measured approximately 20 feet long by 5 feet high and up to 10 inches thick.

Photo of Accident Scene

Best Practices

  • Examine the roof and ribs frequently while working.
  • Take down or adequately support any loose ribs or roof before working or traveling in the affected area.
  • Stay aware of changing roof and rib conditions and position yourself in a safe location.
  • Remain within the confines of any protective device such as cabs, canopies and rib protectors as much as possible.
  • 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 16th fatality reported in calendar year 2004 in the coal mining industry. As of this date in 2003, there were 21 fatalities reported in coal mining. This is the first fatality classified as Fall of Rib in 2004. There was one Fall of Rib fatality at this time in 2003.

    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