COAL MINE FATALITY - On February 23, 2017, a 62-year-old section foreman was seriously injured by falling roof rock in the No. 3 entry of the active working section. The rock fell from between roof bolts and was approximately 3 feet by 2 feet by 3 to 4 inches thick. First-aid was administered and the injured miner was transported to a medical center. Due to medical complications from the injuries he sustained, the victim died on April 6, 2017.
- Install the most effective roof “skin” control technique, screen wire mesh, when roof bolts are installed. Most roof fall injuries are caused by rock falling from between roof bolts (failure of the roof skin).
- Conduct thorough examinations of the roof, face, and ribs where persons will be working and traveling; including sound and vibration testing where applicable.
- Scale loose roof and ribs from a safe location. Danger-off hazardous areas until appropriate corrective measures can be taken.
- Be alert for changing conditions and report abnormal roof or rib conditions to mine management and other miners.
- Correct all hazardous conditions before allowing persons to work or travel in such areas. Install and examine test holes regularly for changes in roof strata.
- Propose revisions to the roof control plan to provide measures to control roof skin hazards.
- Know and follow the approved roof control plan and provide additional support when cracks or other abnormalities are detected. Remember, the approved roof control plan contains minimum requirements.
This is the fifth fatality reported in 2017 in the coal mining industry and it is classified as fall of roof. As of this date in 2016, three fatalities were reported, with none in this classification.