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Miners killed by falls of unsupported roof: searching for clues about how to prevent future tragedies.
Holmes Saf Assn Bull 1994 Jul; :5-8
It maybe tempting for us to assume that mines where people are killed by falls of unsupported roof are somehow different from the mine where we work. This is part of how we rationalize that horrible events "could not happen to me." We may imagine that our mine is somehow different from mines in which people get killed. In some instances there are valid reasons to hold such beliefs. However, in other instances we are just fooling ourselves. Trusting areas of unsupported roof not to fall on you because n. (fill in this blank with your favorite reason] is one of those instances. The statistics in table 2 show that (1) miners have been killed by unsupported roof in a wide variety of mines since 1986, and (2) what is "typical" (or the median) for this group of unfortunate mining operations looks very similar to what is typical at the many mines where fatalities did not occur. The Bureau of Mines has been conducting research to learn more about why miners go under unsupported roof and what types of actions might help to eliminate this behavior. The results have been published in previous editions of the Holmes Safety Bulletin.
Mining-industry; Underground-mining; Underground-miners; Rock-falls; Behavior-patterns; Traumatic-injuries; Accident-prevention
Holmes Safety Association Bulletin
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division