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Fatality Alert - Fatality #14 - November 10, 2014

Accident Report: Fatality Reference: 
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COAL MINE FATALITY – On Monday, November 10, 2014, at approximately 9:35 p.m., a 49-year-old section foreman with 27 years of mining experience was killed when he was struck by a large rock that measured 5 feet by 3 feet by 13 inches thick.  The victim was operating the roof bolting machine on the 2 North section in the No. 2 entry at the time of the accident.  The rock fell inby the last full row of permanent roof supports and between the automated temporary roof support (ATRS) and the left rib.

Photo of accident scene
Best Practices: 
  • Perform a visual examination of the roof, face, and ribs immediately before any other work is started in the area.
  • Be alert to changing conditions, especially after activities that could cause roof disturbance.
  • While under supported roof, perform sound and vibration tests where roof supports are to be installed.
  • Adequately support or scale down any loose roof or rib material from a safe location.
  • Ensure that ATRS systems on all roof bolting machines are maintained in good working condition and set firmly against the mine roof before installing new roof supports.
  • Ensure ATRS are set within 5 feet of permanent support as well as within 5 feet of the rib line.
  • Stay under the roof bolting machine canopy when working in the area between the ATRS and the last row of permanent roof support.
  • Ensure that the approved roof control plan is followed and is suitable for the geologic conditions encountered at the mine.  If conditions change and cause the plan to no longer be suitable, the plan must be revised to provide adequate support for the control of the roof face and ribs.
Additional Information: 

This is the fourteenth fatality reported in calendar year 2014 in the coal mining industry.  As of this date in 2013 there were nineteen fatalities reported in the coal mining industry.  This is the first fatality classified as Fall of Roof or Back in 2014.  At this time in 2013, there were two fatalities in this classification.