Coal Age

OCT 2015

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Page 38 of 51

height increased from 7 ft to approximately 12 ft due to the removal of the material in front of and under the panline. "The increased face height caused the heavier shale rock (approximately 170 lb/ft 2 ) to put pressure on the weaker, uncon- fined coal face (approximately 80 lb/ft 2 )," officials said. "The pres- sure caused the coal face to slough off during the afternoon shift." As the shift progressed, it added, the shale strata movement cre- ated a crack in the face at the No. 5 shield; a separation was ulti- mately formed that could only be seen from the tailgate side. "The rock fell from the face from the same area where the crack was seen," the agency noted in the report. "MSHA investigators, however, cannot definitively say that the crack caused the fall. The material that fell from the face measured approximately 12 ft long, 5 ft wide and up to 2 ft thick. The piece broke and the material that struck the victim measured approximately 10 ft long, 5 ft wide and up to 2 ft thick." In a review of mine examination records, the investigators also found that, despite additional reviews of the area at the time of the crack's appearance, it was not identified in the completed exams. As a result, MSHA issued a noncontributory violation for 30 CFR 75.1326 because of the examinations. It ultimately concluded that the operator was at fault for the incident. "[It] occurred because the mine operator failed to adequately support the roof, face, and ribs of areas where miners work or travel," the federal probe said. "The mine operator did not have procedures or controls in place to protect miners from a fall of the longwall face or ribs while miners are positioned on the panline or between the panline and the longwall face. Additionally, the mine operator did not have effective policies, procedures, or training programs in place to ensure miners are taking proper actions that would limit or pre- vent the longwall from mining out-of-seam." To correct the issues, the operator revised its roof control plan to address out-of-seam conditions and also outlined procedures and equipment needed to protect miners from falls of roof and face if min- ers are required to be on the face side of the panline for any reason. Marshall County also established a training program for all min- ers that work on the longwall. The training program outlines the pro- cedures or actions that should be taken to limit or prevent the longwall from mining out-of-seam. s a f e t y r e p o r t c o n t i n u e d October 2015 37 Unearth the innovation potential. Secure your ticket now at: w w Connecting Global Competence What technologies and innovations will define, change and revolutionize the global mining industry in the future? Find out at bauma 2016. You can expect: 700 exhibitors with mining products Halls B2, C2 and C3 and the bauma Forum all focus on mining 605,000 m 2 of total exhibition space with plenty of other products and components for mining 31st Edition of the World's Leading Trade Fair for Construction Machinery, Building Material Machines, Mining Machines, Construction Vehicles and Construction Equipment April 11–17, Munich bauma Official MSHA said the operator was at fault for a March fatal rock fall accident in north- ern West Virginia.

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