Skin Failure Of Roof And Rib In Underground Coal Mines

Bauer, Eric R.
Organization: International Conference on Ground Control in Mining
Pages: 7
Publication Date: Jan 1, 1999
Skin failures of roof and rib in underground coal mines continue to be a significant safety hazard for mine workers. Skin failures do not usually involve failure of the support systems but result from rock or coal spalling from between the support elements. For instance in 1997, over 800 miners were injured by roof and rib falls, of which 98 pet were the result of skin failures. Also, nearly 80 pct of the roof and rib failure injuries occurred at or near the working faces in development sections. The face area is a zone where the potential for skin failure accidents and injuries and roof and rib failures, in general, is high because of mining activity, ground readjustment due to changing stress conditions, and the higher exposure of mine workers. In addition, failures occur where the roof and rib are unsupported. This paper features a review of the roof and rib accident statistics resulting from skin failure, highlighting the incidences by average days lost, in-mine location, state, MSHA District, and worker activity at the time of injury. A detailed analysis of recent fatalities caused by skin failure is included. Also discussed are the causes of roof and rib skin failures, current methods and support materials for skin surface control, as well as a historical literature review of skin failures and control methods.
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