COAL MINE FATALITY - On Monday, June 25, 2012, at approximately 11:45 AM, a 33-year-old outby foreman with 7 years of experience was killed while installing additional rib/roof support in the No. 5 belt/track entry. The victim was wedging a timber against the mine roof to support the rib, when a section of the left hand rib rolled on top of him. The rock was approximately 14 feet long, 4 feet high, and 17 inches thick.
- Conduct thorough pre-shift and on-shift examinations of the roof, face, and ribs. A thorough exam must be conducted before any work or travel is started in an area and thereafter as conditions warrant.
- Support any loose roof or rib material adequately or scale loose material from a safe location before working or traveling in an area.
- Danger-off areas that have hazardous roof or rib conditions until they are made safe.
- Take additional safety precautions when mining heights increase because rib fall injury rates increase substantially as the mining height increases.
- Use rib bolting to control unstable ribs. Rib bolts provide the best protection against rib falls and are most effective when installed on cycle and in a consistent pattern.
- Be alert to changing geologic conditions which may affect roof/rib conditions.
- Ensure that the Approved Roof Control Plan is followed and is suitable for the geologic conditions encountered.
- Revise the Approved Roof Control Plan as needed when adverse conditions are encountered.
This is the tenth fatality reported in calendar year 2012 in the coal mining industry. As of this date in 2011 there were five fatalities reported in the coal mining industry. This is the second fatality classified as Fall of Rib in 2012. At this time in 2011 there were no fatalities in this classification.