Roof And Rib Fall Incidents And Statistics: A Recent Profile; Proceedings: New Technology For Coal Mine Roof Support
Description:During 1998-99, groundfall incidents resulted in 27 fatalities and were responsible for over 70% of all deaths in U.S. underground coal mines. To obtain a better understanding of where and why these incidents occurred, a comprehensive analysis of ground fall injuries and fatalities was conducted. The first portion of the study examined various factors associated with roof and rib fall injuries and reportable roof fall noninjuries that occurred during 1995-98. The study found that the room-and-pillar mining method has twice the groundfall incident rate than the longwall method. Mine locations with high groundfall rates seem to correlate to regions where there is a higher concentration of problematic coalbeds. For example, the Illinois Basin has very high groundfall rates, which can be traced back to several key coalbeds-Kentucky No. 13, Herrin/No. 6/Kentucky No. 11, and Springfield No. 5/Kentucky No. 9. High rib fall rates were found in mines located in thick seams. Groundfall rates were found to be 30% to 40% higher during the months of July through September, possibly due to high humidity that may cause the shale mine roof to deteriorate. The second part of the study examined the root causes of failure by reviewing all groundfall fatality reports for 1996-99. Primary and secondary hazard factors were assigned to each groundfall incident. The primaryf actors resulting in these groundfall fatalities were pillar extraction, traveling under unsupported roof, skin failure, construction, longwall faces, intersections, and geologic discontinuities. Defining prominent ground control incident trends and hazards will identify areas where additional study is needed and where innovative solutions need to be developed to reduce these severe occupational hazards.
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