Skip to content
MSHA's Safety Targets Program
COAL Roof and Rib Falls

Fatalgrams


Development & Extended Cut Mining

Items you should DO (Do's)
  • Know and always follow the roof control plan.
  • Ensure roof control plans are adequate for amount of overburden (cover) and also address mines above or below active workings. Review and revise roof control plans frequently to adjust for changing conditions (SEE PIB 0903).
  • Follow the mine plan to keep pillars uniform.
  • Mine personnel not essential to the specific activity should remain outside the work zone.
  • Always stay out of the continuous miner red zone.
  • Always thoroughly examine roof, face, and ribs prior to traveling through areas, entering areas to work and, frequently re-examine during the shift.
  • Always remember: roof conditions are continually changing. Be Alert to changes!
  • Scale down or support loose material.
  • Danger off areas where hazards are found.
  • Report unsafe roof and rib conditions immediately to the section supervisor.
  • Roof bolters should immediately report any voids, mud, water, or other unusual conditions encountered while drilling.
  • Install additional supports where entry width and bolt spacing exceed roof control plan specifications.
  • Bolt the rib where needed.
  • Hang reflectors or streamers prior to mining according to the approved roof control plan.
  • Treat inby the second row of bolts from the face as unsupported roof in extended cuts and keep back.
  • Install warning devices or streamers on the second row of bolts from the face in extended cuts.
  • Install extra bolts in the last row in extended cuts to help prevent a roof fall from extending into the bolted area.
  • Map all known geologic structures and anomalies to predict where they will be encountered in adjacent and projected workings.
  • When cracks or other abnormalities are detected, take proper precautions such as dangering off the area and installing supplemental supports.
  • Pay particular attention to deteriorating roof conditions when in older mine areas.
  • Use supplemental support for immediate roof control (such as screens or larger roof bolt plates) to prevent loose material from falling between roof bolt plates.
  • Caution-slickenside shale may indicate the presence of roof hazards such as horsebacks or kettle bottoms.
  • Drill and examine test holes for changes in roof strata according to the roof control plan or when adverse conditions may be expected. Bolt as close as possible to temporary support.
  • Take precautions to prevent mine equipment from damaging roof supports/bolts.
  • Use posts or jacks as temporary supports when machine failure/disabled require accessing equipment inby permanent supports.
Development & Extended Cut Mining

Items you shouldn't DO (Don'ts)
  • Don't travel or work under unsupported roof or brows.
  • Don't mine a working face into an unsupported area or intersection.
Retreat Mining

Items you should DO (Do's)
  • Know and always follow the approved pillaring procedure in the plan.
  • Ensure roof control plans are adequate for amount of overburden (cover) and also address mines above or below active workings. Review and revise roof control plans frequently to adjust for changing conditions (SEE PIB 0903).
  • Train miners in proper escape and evacuation procedures for retreat mining.
  • Mine personnel not essential to the specific activity should remain outside the work zone.
  • Always stay out of the continuous miner red zone.
  • Always thoroughly examine roof, face, and ribs prior to traveling through areas, entering areas to work and, frequently re-examine during the shift.
  • Always remember: roof conditions are continually changing. Be alert to changes!
  • Hang reflectors or streamers prior to mining.
  • Always install breaker posts from the outby side of the remaining pillar block toward the pillared out area.
  • Never position yourself needlessly near pillar line or inby turn posts.
  • Posts (turn posts or breaker posts) should be replaced if broken or loose.
  • Danger off areas where hazards are found.
  • Report unsafe roof and rib conditions immediately to the section supervisor.
  • Map all known geologic structures and anomalies to predict where they will be encountered in adjacent and projected workings.
  • When cracks or other abnormalities are detected, take proper precautions such as dangering off the area and installing supplemental supports.
  • Pay particular attention to deteriorating roof conditions when in older mine areas.
  • Take precautions to prevent mine equipment from damaging roof supports/bolts.
  • Scale down or support loose material.
  • Caution-slickenside shale may indicate the presence of roof hazards such as horsebacks or kettle bottoms.
  • Use supplemental support for immediate roof control (such as screens or larger roof bolt plates) to prevent loose material from falling between roof bolt plates.
  • Install barriers to impede entry when ground conditions may create a hazard.
  • Use posts or jacks as temporary supports when machine failure/disabled requires accessing equipment inby permanent supports.
Items you shouldn't DO (Don'ts)
  • Never travel or work under unsupported roof or brows.



Some or all of the files available on this page are PDF. For more information on PDF, PDF readers and accessibility issues, please use this link.