Fatality Alert - Fatality #2 - January 16, 2016

Accident Report: Fatality Reference: 
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COAL MINE FATALITY --On January 16, 2016, a 31 year old continuous mining machine operator with 12 years of mining experience was fatally injured when a section of coal/rock rib measuring 4.5 feet long, 3 feet high, and 3 feet thick fell and pinned him to the mine floor. The victim was remotely operating the continuous miner in the number 2 entry of the advancing section when the accident occurred.

A section from a fallen coal rock rib
Best Practices: 
  • Train all miners and supervisors to conduct thorough examinations of the roof, face, and ribs where persons will be working and traveling. Correct all hazardous conditions before allowing persons to work or travel in such areas.
  •  Be aware of potential hazards at all times when working or traveling near ribs. Take additional safety precautions when mining heights increase to prevent development of rib hazards.
  • Avoid areas of close clearance between ribs and equipment.
  • Know and follow the approved roof control plan and provide additional support when roof or rib fractures, or other abnormalities are detected.  Remember, the approved roof control plan only contains minimum requirements.
  • Install rib bolts with adequate surface coverage hardware on cycle and in a consistent pattern for the best protection against rib falls. In addition to rib bolts and mesh, setting post on 4 foot centers along questionable rib lines will provide additional protection against rib rolls.
  • Be alert for changing conditions, especially after activities that could cause roof disturbance. Report abnormal roof or rib conditions to mine management.
  • Adequately support or scale any loose roof or rib material from a safe location.  Use a bar of suitable length and design when scaling.
  • Danger off hazardous areas until appropriate corrective measures can be taken.
Additional Information: 

This is the second fatality reported in calendar year 2016 in the coal mining industry and it is classified as Fall of Rib.  As of this date in 2015, there was one fatality reported in the coal mining industry, and there were no fatalities in this classification.