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COAL MINE FATALITY - On Tuesday, August 6, 2013, a 56-year old continuous mining machine operator, with 37 years of mining experience, was killed as a result of a coal rib outburst. The section crew was retreat mining the first right lift of the #3 entry in a five entry system when the accident occurred. Two other miners were injured, one seriously.

Photo of Accident Scene Described in Paragraph Above

Best Practices

  • Ensure that the approved roof control plan support provisions are suitable for the geological conditions at the mine and that the plan is followed.
  • Ensure that the pillar dimensions and mining method are suitable for the conditions. OR, ensure that roof and rib control methods are adequate for the depth of cover and for the potential effects of any mines above or below active workings.
  • Develop a map of geological features and anomalies to determine orientation as a means to predict when and where they will be encountered during mining, so additional roof support can focus on those areas.
  • Conduct frequent and adequate examinations of roof, face, and ribs. Be alert for changing conditions. When hazardous conditions are detected, danger off access to the area until it is made safe for work and travel.
  • Maintain proper entry widths and pillar dimensions.
  • When gob falls have been delayed for periods that exceed routine intervals for the mining conditions, evaluate the area and consider evacuating miners and equipment to a safe area until the fall occurs.

  • 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 12th fatality reported in calendar year 2013 for the coal mining industry. As of this date in 2012, there were 13 fatalities reported in the coal mining industry. This is the 1st fatality classified as Fall of Face Rib or Highwall in 2013. At this time in 2012, there were two fatalities in this classification.

    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 - Not Available Yet.