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COAL MINE FATALITY - On September 18, 1999 a roof bolt machine operator received serious injuries when a portion of the mine roof, ranging from 3 to 5 feet wide X 8 to 10 feet long and approximately three inches thick, fell striking the victim and knocking him to the mine floor. The victim was working on the right side of a twin boom roof bolt machine, standing outby the last row of roof bolts that had just been installed. The machine operator was attempting to position the T-Bar type Automated Temporary Roof Support (ATRS) against the mine roof in preparation of installing the next row of roof bolts. A portion of the mine roof fell from inby the last row of bolts and rode outby past the last two rows of roof bolts. The victim died on October 14, 1999 while undergoing an operation, presumable as a result of the injuries sustained from the accident.

Fatal Alert Bulletin Drawing
  • A thorough examination of the roof, consisting of a visual examination and a sound and vibration test, should be conducted prior to starting the installation of roof bolts and periodically during the roof bolting cycle.
  • Any loose roof or ribs should be taken down, with a bar of suitable length and design, prior to the installation of permanent roof supports.
  • All miners assigned to perform work underground should be thoroughly trained, to recognize roof and rib hazards, and in the safe work practices outlined in the approved roof control plan.
  • This is the 30th 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 Rib or Highwall in 1999.

    For more information:
    MSHA's Fatal Accident Investigation Report [FTL99C30]

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