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COAL MINE FATALITY - On Wednesday, June 29, 2011, at approximately 11:15 a.m., a 49 year old continuous haulage cable attendant was killed when he was struck by a section of rib. The rock was approximately 82 inches long, 36 inches wide, and 11 inches thick. The mining height at the accident site was just over seven feet, and the depth of cover was 700 feet.

Photo of Accident Scene

Best Practices
  • Conduct thorough pre-shift and on-shift examinations of the roof, face, and ribs immediately before working or traveling in an area, and thereafter as conditions warrant.
  • Know and follow the Approved Roof Control Plan. Take additional measures to protect persons when hazards are encountered.
  • Assure the Approved Roof Control Plan is suitable for prevailing geological conditions. Revise the plan if conditions change and the support system is not adequate to control the roof, face, and ribs.
  • Rib bolts provide the best protection against rib falls and are most effective when installed on cycle and in a consistent pattern.
  • Be alert to changing geological conditions which may affect roof, rib, and face conditions.
  • Support loose ribs or roof adequately or scale down loose material before beginning work.

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