MSHA Sets Summer Target: Preventing Roof Falls

MSHA, noting that roof falls in coal mines are more common in the summer than other seasons, has launched its annual Preventive Roof/Rib Outreach Program, known as PROP, to highlight the potential hazards. The regulated community is surely paying close attention now to MSHA's annoucements, given its tougher enforcement stance since the MINER Act took effect.

"Over the last two years, 19 coal miners in the United States died from roof falls or rib rolls," MSHA chief Richard E. Stickler said in the May 29 announcement. "We need to be sure that each miner and mine operator at every underground coal mine is informed about the specific hazards that lead to roof falls and how these tragic accidents can best be prevented." The inspection push begins June 1 and will end Sept. 30, with inspectors talking with miners and mine operators during that period about roof fall and rib roll dangers. They'll hand out information on safety guidelines for both hazards.

MSHA has scheduled three PROP roof control seminars on May 30 at the Mine Health and Safety Academy in Beckley, W.Va.; June 20 at Bevill State Community College in Jasper, Ala.; and June 26 at Jenny Wiley State Park Prestonsburg, Ky. These are free seminars for the mining community. For more information about practices to prevent these incidents, visit www.msha.gov.

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