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COAL MINE FATALITY - On July 25, 2008, a 44 year old roof bolter operator with 20 years mining experience was fatally injured while marking the location for roof bolts to be installed. Apparently the victim was between the drill station and the installed automated temporary roof support (ATRS) when a large piece of roof rock 55" long X 50"wide ranging from 4" to 6" thick fell. The rock knocked him into the roof bolting machine causing fatal injuries.

Photo of accident scene described in paragraph above


Best Practices
  • When possible, stay under the roof bolter canopy when working in the area between the ATRS and the last row of permanent roof support.
  • Incorporate proper use of roof bolter canopy extensions if provided.
  • Examine the roof, face and ribs, including sound and vibrations tests, during pre-shift examinations, immediately before any work is started, and periodically as conditions warrant.
  • Scale any loose or hazardous roof material using proper equipment and work from a safe location.
  • 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 18th fatality reported during calendar year 2008 in the coal mining industry. As of this date in 2007, there were nine fatalities reported in coal mining. This is the fourth fatality classified as Fall of Roof in 2008. There were two fatalities in this category at this time in 2007.


    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