On January 10, a 44-year-old roof bolting machine operator with 15 years mining experience was fatally injured in a roof fall.
The victim was operating a single-head roof bolting machine, installing 72in fully grouted resin rods in the No.1 entry working place when the fall occurred.
The fall, consisting of draw rock, was approximately 3ft thick, 14ft wide, and 20ft long.
The victim was properly positioned beneath the roof bolting machine canopy when the automated temporary roof support (ATRS) system collapsed under the weight of the fall.
MSHA issued the following best practices:
- Examine the roof, face and ribs, including sound and vibrations tests, during preshift examinations, immediately before any work is started, and periodically as conditions warrant.
- Ensure that the ATRS is functioning properly and set firmly against the mine roof before going inby permanent support.
- Remain alert for changing roof conditions.
- Take additional measures when hazards associated with draw rock are encountered, such as mining shorter cuts and decreasing roof bolt spacing.