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MSHA Safety Alert - Longwall Accidents



May 17, 2023 - From January 2013 to March 2023, there have been 545 accidents on longwalls in underground coal mines, causing seven deaths and 333 serious injuries. These accidents occurred when miners were performing routine work such as shoveling coal, working on shields, moving equipment, installing bits on shear drums and installing supplemental ground support at the face and roof during recovery of longwall equipment.

Best Practices:

- Follow the approved Roof Control Plan and train miners on the plan’s requirements. 

- Never travel or work under unsupported roof. 

- Examine the roof, face, and ribs, from a safe position. 

- Correct hazardous roof, face, or rib conditions before any work or travel is permitted in the affected area and during longwall recovery. 

- Be alert to changing roof/rib conditions especially during longwall recovery. 

- Install temporary roof support (posts, jacks, cribs) as required. 


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Miners and mine operators can find safety and health information on