CONSOL cited in fatal roof fall

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Federal inspectors have issued seven citations to coal giant CONSOL Energy in their investigation of a September 2012 roof fall that killed a miner.On Sept. 13, 61-year-old William E. Mock was killed when a piece of mine roof measuring 11 feet long, 5 feet wide, and up to 11 inches thick fell on him.At the time of the roof fall, Mock and another worker were removing a piece of roof bolt and a wooden plank, which had been initially installed as permanent roof supports when the area was mined.The U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration concluded in a report issued Thursday that the death was the result of a variety of safety failures by CONSOL mine management.
MSHA said that CONSOL management did not ensure that additional roof support was installed prior to removing load-bearing primary roof supports. The company also did not examine roof conditions prior to the incident and did not provide proper employee training on the task being performed, MSHA investigators concluded.Last month, CONSOL President Nicholas DeIuliis said in a speech to the West Virginia Coal Association that the industry's goal should be eliminating all on-the-job injuries and deaths."We can't be satisfied with just incremental improvements," DeIuliis said during a speech to the West Virginia Coal Association's 40th Annual Mining Symposium. "The only acceptable result for everyone in the industry and everyone in the room should be zero fatalities and zero injuries."A CONSOL spokeswoman did not respond Thursday to a request for comment on the MSHA report.Reach Ken Ward Jr. at or 304-348-1702.
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