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COAL MINE FATALITY - On Thursday, July 29, 2010, at approximately 11:55 a.m., the left side integral roof bolter operator on a continuous mining machine was fatally injured. The victim was struck with a portion of rib measuring approximately 276 inches long by 55 inches high and up to 16 inches thick. The accident occurred while cutting an overcast. The victim had installed one test bolt and was near the left rear bumper of the machine, when the accident occurred. The rock in the left rib sheared off pinning, the victim against the machine.

Diagram of Accident Scene Described in the Paragraph Above

Best Practices

  • Develop a plan for cutting overcasts and train miners in the procedures and precautions.
  • Examine the roof and ribs frequently while working.
  • Take down or support any loose ribs or roof adequately before working or traveling in the affected area.
  • Be aware of changing roof and rib conditions, especially when working between the ribs and equipment.
  • Unless necessary, do not position yourself between any piece of machinery and the rib.
  • Where the mining process allows, remain within the confines of protective devices such as cabs, canopies and rib protectors whenever possible.
  • Install additional rib support prior to mining in areas where the roof or floor is cut above or below the coal seam, especially overcasts, loading points, etc.
  • 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 42nd fatality reported during calendar year 2010 in the coal mining industry. As of this date in 2009, there were 9 fatalities reported in coal mining. This is the 3rd fatality classified as Fall of Face/Rib/Highwall in 2010. At this time in 2009, there were no fatalities in this classification.


    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