COAL MINE FATALITY - At approximately 11:00 pm on June 23, 2009, a roof bolter was struck by a piece of shale that fell from the mine roof. The victim was in the process of setting a roof jack on the left inby corner of the crosscut between the No. 2 and No. 1 entries when he was struck by the rock. A portion of this corner had been mined, a normal practice at this mine. The rock measured approximately 4 feet long by 3 feet wide, and ranged from 9 to 11 inches thick. This section was mined with a full face continuous mining machine with integral bolting machines.
- Know and follow the approved roof control plan.
- Be alert to changing roof conditions at all times.
- Use roof bolting machines equipped with an ATRS to install roof supports rather than manually setting roof jacks.
- Prior to manually installing temporary roof support, visually examine the roof first, and then test the roof.
This is the eighth fatality reported during calendar year 2009 in the coal mining industry. As of this date in 2008, there were sixteen fatalities reported in coal mining. This is the first fatality classified as Fall of Roof in 2009. There were three fatalities in this category at this time in 2008.