Coal Mine Fatality - On February 6, 2018, a 52-year-old electrician with 13 years of mining experience was fatally injured while working alone performing routine maintenance on a continuous mining machine. A portion of rib, measuring 42 inches long, 28 inches high, and 14 inches thick, fell and struck the victim. He was found between a coal rib and the continuous mining machine.
- Be aware of potential hazards when working or traveling near mine ribs, especially when geologic conditions, or an increase in mining height, could cause roof or rib hazards. Take additional safety precautions while working in these conditions.
- Correct all hazardous conditions before allowing miners to work and travel in these areas. Adequately support or scale any loose roof or rib material from a safe location. Use a bar of suitable length and design when scaling.
- Train all miners to conduct thorough examinations of the roof, face, and ribs in their work areas, including more frequent examinations when conditions change.
- Install rib bolts with adequate surface area coverage, during the mining cycle, and in a consistent pattern for the best protection against rib falls.
- Know and follow the approved roof control plan. The roof control plan only contains minimum safety requirements. Additional support may be required when roof or rib fractures, or other abnormalities are detected.
This is the first fatality reported in calendar year 2018 in the coal mining industry and it is classified as Fall of Face/Rib/Highwall. As of this date in 2017, there were two fatalities in the coal mining industry, neither of which was in this classification.