MSHA focuses on mine rib control

July 20, 2011

Arlington, VA – Improving mine rib control will be the focus of this year’s Preventive Roof/Rib Outreach Program, the Mine Safety and Health Administration announced July 12.

Roof control in underground mines involves securing the top and sides of travel ways or walls, called “ribs.”

According to MSHA, many of today’s mines are in coal reserves that previously were avoided because of poor roof conditions. These mines may be deeper and have abandoned mines above or below them, causing further stress on the roof and ribs.

While roof fall fatalities have declined in recent years, rib fall deaths have remained constant, MSHA said. In 2010, three miners died due to rib falls and three others were killed due to roof falls. So far this year, two miners have died due to underground rib failures.