COAL MINE FATALITY – On March 8, 2015, a 45-year old assistant longwall coordinator with twelve years of experience was killed while working a longwall section. The victim was shoveling loose material between the longwall face and the pan line when a large piece of rock, 12 feet long by 5 feet wide by 1 foot thick, fell from the face and struck him.
- Conduct thorough and more frequent examinations of the roof, face, and ribs, when abnormal conditions are present. Watch for frequently changing conditions.
- Scale hazardous roof, face, or rib conditions and adequately support the areas before any work or travel is permitted. Ensure that a bar of suitable length and design is used when removing loose or unconsolidated material.
- Install longwall shield extensions to cover a portion of the face and minimize unsupported areas.
- Implement policies, programs, procedures, and controls to protect miners working in the face conveyor areas.
- Reinstruct all miners in hazard recognition, adequate support methods, and safe work practices when abnormal conditions or circumstances are present on the longwall face.
This is the third fatality reported in calendar year 2015 in the coal mining industry and it is first fatality classified as Fall of Roof, Face, and Rib. As of this day in 2014, there were two fatalities reported in the coal mining industry. At this time in 2014, there were no fatalities in this classification.