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COAL MINE FATALITY - On October 9, 1999 a longwall machine helper was fatally injured when a piece of middleman rock, measuring approximately 9' X 4' and ranging from 7" to 17" thick, fell from the longwall face and pinned the machine helper against the longwall face conveyor (Pan Line). The victim had positioned himself between the pan line and longwall face while in the process of installing wire mesh above the shields in preparation to recover the longwall face equipment.

Fatal Alert Bulletin Graphic
  • A thorough examination of the roof, face and ribs, consisting of a visual examination and a sound and vibration test, should be conducted prior to miners being assigned to work in or travel through an area.
  • If any hazardous roof, face, or rib conditions are detected adequate measures should be taken to correct these conditions before any other work or travel is permitted through the affected area.
  • A bar of suitable length and design should be used for removing any loose or unconsolidated material.
  • All miners assigned to perform work on the longwall face should be properly trained in hazard recognition and safe work practices prior to being assigned such work.
  • This is the 29th fatality reported in calendar year 1999 in the coal mining industry. As of this date in 1998, there were 24 fatalities. This is the Sixth fatality classified as FALL OF FACE, RIB, SIDE OR HIGHWALL in 1999.

    For more information:
    MSHA's Fatal Accident Investigation Report [FTL99C29]

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