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COAL MINE FATALITY - - On Monday, June 27, 2011, a 33 year old miner was killed when a portion of coal and rock fell from the upper portion of a pillar rib. The material that fell was approximately 8 feet long, by 32 inches thick, by 3 feet high.

Photo of Accident Scene

Best Practices

  • Conduct a thorough visual examination of the roof, face, and ribs immediately before any work or travel is started in an area and thereafter as conditions warrant.
  • Perform careful examinations of pillar corners, particularly where the angles are formed between entries and crosscuts are less than 90 degrees.
  • Support any loose rib or roof material adequately or scale before beginning work.
  • Take additional safety precautions when mining heights increase to prevent development of rib hazards.
  • In areas prone to deterioration, install rib support when the area is mined initially.
  • Be alert to changing geologic conditions which may affect roof/rib conditions.

  • 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 seventh fatality reported during calendar year 2011 in the coal mining industry. This is the first fatality classified as a Fall of Face / Rib accident in 2011. Thirty-nine coal mine fatalities occurred in 2010 within the same period. Two Fall of Face / Rib fatalities occurred during the same period in 2010.

    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