Department of Labor
Mine Safety and Health Administration
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.
- 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.
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.