Longwall incidents spur MSHA alert

Arlington, VA — In response to greater than 500 incidents on longwalls in underground coal mines over the previous decade, the Mine Security and Well being Administration has issued a safety alert.

From January 2013 to this previous March, MSHA recorded 545 incidents on longwalls, leading to seven deaths and 333 severe accidents. The incidents occurred “when miners have been performing routine work,” together with shoveling coal, engaged on shields, transferring tools, putting in bits on shear drums, and putting in supplemental floor help on the face and roof whereas recovering longwall tools.

Company finest practices for mitigating longwall incidents:

  • Observe the authorised roof management plan and prepare miners on the plan’s necessities.
  • By no means journey or work underneath an unsupported roof.
  • Look at the roof, face and ribs from a secure place.
  • Right hazardous roof, face or rib situations earlier than any work or journey is permitted within the affected space and through longwall restoration.
  • Be alert to altering roof/rib situations, particularly throughout longwall restoration.
  • Set up short-term roof help – together with posts, jacks and cribs – as required.


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