Massive roof overlying the working seam in longwall operations can cause hazards if it does not cave readily behind the face supports. The overhang thus formed can overload the supports and endanger personnel when it collapses suddenly as a large rock mass. This Bureau of Mines report proposes the use of a concentrated load, either strip or point loading, applied onto the roof with the help of the upward thrust of the face supports. An experiment was conducted in the laboratory to obtain information about break characteristics and the values of significant parameters of three sedimentary rocks. The results were used to determine the breaking load requirements for a strong roof possibly encountered in typical longwall operations. The results show that the roof slab of moderate thickness can be fractured within the load capacity of off- the-shelf powered supports.