Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government.

Safety Alert: Best Practices for Roof Collapse

During the months of July and August, 2016, ten roof falls occurred on working sections after

the roof was bolted. Such roof falls inby the loading point are particularly dangerous because

they occur where most miners work. Fortunately, no injuries have been associated with these

ten falls. These types of accidents can be reduced, if not eliminated when miners use the

following Best Practices as a guide.


  • Know and follow the approved roof control plan.
  • Make frequent examinations, and be alert to changing conditions which may affect roof or rib
  • conditions.
  • Install additional roof and/or rib support when adverse conditions are encountered or
  • anticipated.
  • Use supplemental support for immediate roof control such as screen, steel straps,
  • header boards or larger roof bolt plates.
  • When retreat mining, withdraw equipment immediately if the roof becomes unstable.
  • Where appropriate, use extra support in the vicinity of the last row of bolts to prevent a roof
  • fall that initiates in the unbolted cut from extending outby.
  • Use test holes to check for cracks and other hazards above the roof bolts.
  • Tell mine management and other miners about unusual roof or rib conditions.
  • Never travel under unsupported roof.

Download This Safety Alert