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COAL MINE FATALITY - COAL MINE FATALITY - On August 8, 1998, a 40-year-old utility man was using a single- boom roof bolting machine to install roof bolts in the face area. The utility man had begun the installation of bolts on the right side of the working place, bolting to the left then moving forward. Eight of the needed fourteen roof bolts (including two rib bolts for a wide corner) had been installed for the first three rows. He then moved the roof bolting machine inby and drilled a hole for the first bolt in the fourth row. The roof in the unsupported area behind him fell and struck him, causing fatal injuries. The roof fall measured 12 feet long, 8 feet wide, and 0 to 12 inches thick. The pattern of installing the roof bolts resulted in the utility man being under unsupported roof during drilling and bolt installation. The roof-bolting machine was not equipped with a canopy over the machine's drilling controls.

  • Never go inby permanent roof support.

  • When using a single-head roof bolting machine, the operator's station must be protected by the roof support provided by the rib and the ATRS during the installation of the first roof bolt in a row. During the installation of the remaining bolts in the row, support is provided by the previously installed bolt and the ATRS.

  • Canopies shall be provided over the operating controls on all electric face equipment operating in mining heights 42 inches or more.
  • This is the 18th fatality reported in calendar year 1998 in the coal mining industry. As of this date in 1997, there were 21 fatalities. This is the eighth fatality classified as ROOF FALL in 1998.

    For more information:
    Fatal Alert Bulletin Icon MSHA's Fatal Accident Investigation Report [FTL98C18]