COAL MINE FATALITY - On Monday, May 12, 2014, a 48-year-old continuous mining machine operator with 26 years of mining experience, and a 46-year-old mobile roof support operator/roof bolter with 3½ years of mining experience, were fatally injured as a result of a coal rib burst. The section crew was retreat mining in the #6 entry of the 4 East Mains Panel. They were mining the second lift of the left pillar block when the accident occurred.
- Conduct frequent and thorough examinations of the roof, face, and ribs. Be alert for changing conditions. When hazardous conditions are detected, danger off access to the area until it is made safe for work and travel.
- Ensure that the approved roof control plan support provisions are suitable for the geological conditions at the mine and that the plan is followed.
- Train all miners in the requirements of the approved roof control plan and instruct miners to follow the plan at all times.
- Ensure that the pillar dimensions and the mining method are suitable for the conditions, and that roof and rib control methods are adequate for the depth of cover. Consider the potential effects of any mines above or below the active workings.
- Develop a map of geological features and unusual conditions in order to develop the best mining plan that addresses the potentially adverse roof and rib conditions that may be present.
These are the fourth and fifth fatalities reported during calendar year 2014 in the coal mining industry. As of this date in 2013, there were eight fatalities reported in coal mining. These are the first fatalities classified as Fall of Face/Rib/Highwall in 2014. At this time in 2013, there were no fatalities in this classification.