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COAL MINE FATALITY - On August 20, 2003, a 52-year old section foreman with 19 years mining experience was fatally injured when he was struck by falling roof rock while bending over to help lift and hang a continuous mining machine cable. The section of roof measured approximately 11'x 4' x 3" and fell from between permanent roof supports.

Photo of Accident Scene

Best Practices

  • Conduct a thorough visual examination of the roof, face, and ribs immediately before any work is started, and thereafter as conditions warrant.
  • Conduct sound and vibration roof tests where appropriate (see 30 CFR 75.211b).
  • Always be alert for changing roof conditions.
  • Know and follow the provisions of the approved roof control plan.
  • Add additional roof supports where necessary.
  • 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 22nd fatality reported in calendar year 2003 in the coal mining industry. As of the accident date in 2002, there were 20 fatalities reported in the coal mining industry. This is the first fatality classified as a roof fall in 2003. There were four fatalities classified as roof falls at this time 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