Department of Labor
Mine Safety and Health Administration
Travel Under Unsupported Roof
There have been several incidents in recent months of travel out
under unsupported roof. Travel under unsupported roof continues
to be a major cause of roof fall fatals. The following are
excerpts from recent incidents:
(1) Footprints were observed in the last open
crosscut between No. 1 and 2 entries in an area of unsupported
mine roof for a distance of 7 feet beyond permanent support. The
unsupported area measured 17 feet wide and ranged from 12 to 15
feet long. The unsupported area had been rock dusted.
(2) Evidence showed that rubber tired equipment had traveled
through an area of unsupported mine roof in the crosscut located
between No. 1 and No. 7 South return entries. The unsupported
area in the crosscut was approximately 35 feet in length and had
been cleaned with a scoop and wet rock dusted.
- Always be aware of conditions around you. Examine your
workplace prior to beginning work.
- Make sure the end of permanent roof supports is posted with a
readily visible warning device or physical barrier. Flagging or
markers for warning should hang down to at least the line of
- Communicate with others of changed conditions. When rock
dusting, let others know of unsupported roof.
- Don't be the fall guy ! Don't go under unsupported roof
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This information was provided by concerned
miners in an effort to eliminate accidents. Accident or "close
call" information within District 8 may be shared by contacting
the MSHA office at (812) 882-7617.