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COAL MINE FATALITY - On Wednesday, January 2, 2002, a 44-year old remote control continuous mining machine operator with 23 years of mining experience was fatally injured in a roof fall accident. The victim was mining in the No. 2 right crosscut of the 7 headgate section when roof rock measuring seven feet by five feet by three to five inches in thickness fell in the area where he was standing. The continuous mining machine had sheared off 7 roof bolts when starting this crosscut. The victim was operating the machine while under this unsupported roof at the time of the accident.

Drawing Depicting Accident Scene

Best Practices

  • Never work or travel under unsupported roof

  • Hang reflectors or other warning devices prior to mining.

  • When operating a continuous mining machine with a remote control, always maintain a safe distance between you and the machine.

  • Know and follow the provisions of the approved roof control plan.

  • Avoid damage to roof support systems.
  • More Information E-mail Suggestion for Accident Prevention Program Submit your own suggestion for a remedy to prevent this type of accident in the future.
    Please specify if you wish your submission to be anonymous or whether your name may be used. Please include the year of the fatality and the fatality number.

    This is the 1st fatality in 2002 in the coal mining industry. As of this date in 2001, there were 0 fatalities. This is the 1st fatality classified as a roof fall fatality in 2002.

    The information provided in this notice is based on preliminary data ONLY and does not represent final determinations regarding the nature of the incident or conclusions regarding the cause of the fatality.

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