Roof bolter operator fatality prompts call for closer roof scrutiny

A ROOF bolter operator on a continuous miner has died after he was struck by a portion of rib while cutting an overcast in an underground coal mine in the US, according to the US Mine Safety and Health Administration.
Roof bolter operator fatality prompts call for closer roof scrutiny Roof bolter operator fatality prompts call for closer roof scrutiny Roof bolter operator fatality prompts call for closer roof scrutiny Roof bolter operator fatality prompts call for closer roof scrutiny Roof bolter operator fatality prompts call for closer roof scrutiny

Courtesy of MSHA.

Lou Caruana

MSHA recommends that a plan for cutting overcasts is developed and that miners are adequately trained in the necessary procedures and precautions.

“The victim was struck with a portion of rib measuring approximately 276 inches long by 55 inches high and up to 16 inches thick,” MSHA said in a report.

“The victim had installed one test bolt and was near the left rear bumper of the machine, when the accident occurred. The rock in the left rib sheared off pinning, the victim against the machine.”

In its report MSHA also recommends that roof and ribs are examined frequently while working and that any loose ribs or roof are taken down before working or traveling in the affected area.

“Be aware of changing roof and rib conditions, especially when working between the ribs and equipment,” it warns.

“Unless necessary, do not position yourself between any piece of machinery and the rib.

“Where the mining process allows, remain within the confines of protective devices such as cabs, canopies and rib protectors whenever possible.

“Install additional rib support prior to mining in areas where the roof or floor is cut above or below the coal seam, especially overcasts, and loading points.”

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