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MSHA News Release: [05/25/2007]
Contact: Dirk Fillpot          Amy Louviere
Phone:    (202) 693-9406   (202) 693-9423
Release Number 07-790-NAT

U.S. Labor Department's MSHA to focus on roof fall fatalities
Roof control seminars scheduled as part of PROP outreach effort

ARLINGTON, Va. - More roof falls in coal mines occur during the summer months than at any other time of year. Consequently, the U.S. Department of Labor's Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) has launched its annual Preventive Roof/Rib Outreach Program (PROP) to highlight the potential hazards that face underground coal miners.

"Over the last two years, 19 coal miners in the United States died from roof falls or rib rolls," said Richard E. Stickler, assistant secretary of labor for mine safety and health. "We need to be sure that each miner and mine operator at every underground coal mine is informed about the specific hazards that lead to roof falls and how these tragic accidents can best be prevented."

Beginning June 1 and concluding Sept. 30, MSHA inspectors will speak directly with miners and mine operators about the dangers of roof falls and rib rolls, and distribute informational material providing safety guidelines for roof and rib control, mobile roof supports and retreat mining.

As part of the PROP initiative, MSHA will hold three roof control seminars on the following dates:

May 30 Mine Health and Safety Academy Beckley, W.Va. 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. EDT
June 20 Bevill State Community College Jasper, Ala. 8 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. CDT
June 26 Jenny Wiley State Park Prestonsburg, Ky. 8 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. EDT

Members of the mining industry are encouraged to attend these free seminars to learn about the safe control of roof and ribs in underground coal mines.

To prevent roof and rib accidents, mine managers and miners should:

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