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District 8 - Coal Mine Safety and Health
Info-Grams and Close Call Accidents


Info-Grams
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Department of Labor
Mine Safety and Health Administration

Accident Info-Gram
JANUARY 2002

Rib Fall

On January 30, 2002, a rib fall occurred at an underground mine in District 8. While an inspection was being conducted, the inspector observed a fractured and broken rib. The fractured area was approximately three feet thick, six feet high, and eight feet long. A roof-bolting machine was brought into this area to install rib bolts for proper support. The roof-bolting machine operator noticed that the appropriate augers and roof bolts were not on the machine. As a precaution, he moved the roof-bolting machine while proper materials were being obtained. Subsequently, the coal rib fell as personnel were examining the area closer. After the rib fell, a hidden slicken-sided slip through the coal was exposed. No injuries resulted from this incident. These conditions were similar to the conditions at another District 8 mine that resulted in a fatal accident.
Rib Fall Accident Drawing
BEST PRACTICES
  • Instruct all mine personnel to examine closely fractured and/or broken coal ribs. Examine ribs visually and by the sound and vibration method.
  • Immediately scale and/or support ribs that are undercut and showing signs of failure.
  • When scaling coal ribs, stand clear of potential falling ribs and use proper scaling devices.

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This file was last updated on 1/15/2003

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.