Mining Publication: Roof and Rib Hazard Assessment for Underground Stone Mines
From 1991 through 1995, 44 miners out of a total work force of less than 2,000 were fatally injured in the stone industry. Of these, 12 occurred at underground mining operations with nine deaths resulting from roof or rib falls. A safer environment can be achieved by evaluating the nature of the hazardous ground and by developing more efficient and effective ground-control strategies. Roof and rib conditions were observed and assessed in 33 underground stone mines in Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Missouri, Pennsylvania and West Virginia. Hazard assessment indicated that the ground failures that occurred under moderate to substantial overburden, i.e., >30 m (100 ft), were caused by stress concentrations and geologic structures. Ground failures near the surface are caused by solution (water) processes. Selection of the mining horizon and mine-layout decisions tremendously influence ground stability.