Continuous Miner Mounted Rib Protection Systems

Mines safety alert no. 377 | 27 August 2020 | Version 1

What happened?

On 27 July 2020 two Coal Mine Workers (CMWs) received serious injuries from rib spall while working on a continuous miner in a development panel heading. The incident occurred as the CMWs were installing roof support and extending ventilation tubes. An inspection of the site revealed that the machine mounted rib protection system installed on the continuous miner did not provide an effective control for this hazard. The distance between the top of the rib protector and the mine roof impacting the CMWs (refer to Figure 1 below).


All mines should:

  • Review the adequacy of risk assessments and controls for the operation and maintenance of rib protection systems in use on continuous miners (refer to Figure 2 below).
  • Ensure that the rib protection system is effective in preventing harmful rib spall entering the bolting platform area.
  • Confirm that the regular inspections are in place to confirm the adequacy of protection systems.

Safety Alert Purpose

  1. Draw attention to the occurrence of a serious incident in the mining industry
  2. Increase risk awareness
  3. Promote mines to examine and check that their controls are adequate

The investigations are ongoing and further information may be published as it becomes available.

The information contained in this publication is based on knowledge and understanding at the time of writing.

Authorised by Peter Newman - Chief Inspector of Coal Mines
Contact: Michael Scully, Inspector of Mines, 0459 878 917

Issued by Resources Safety & Health Queensland

Safety: This information is a guide only and is issued to promote safety through experience. It is not to be taken as a statement of law and must not be construed to waive or modify any legal obligation.; General: This information is a guide only. It is not to be taken as a statement of law and must not be construed to waive or modify any legal obligation.; Placement: Place this announcement on noticeboards and ensure all relevant people in your organisation receive a copy.

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