Fed Citations for Coal Mine Fatality

Friday, July 24, 2015 @ 02:07 PM gHale

A Murray Energy subsidiary is now facing federal citations after an accident killed one worker and injured three others at a mine in Marshall County, West Virginia.

McElroy Coal Co. didn’t adequately support the roof, face and walls where miners work or travel, said a report released Wednesday by the U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA). The report also attributed the accident to a faulty mining method.

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On March 8, John M. Garloch, 45, of Neffs, Ohio, died after a piece of coal and rock fell from an exposed area where a longwall machine was extracting coal. Three other workers suffered an injury in the incident. The accident occurred at the Marshall County Mine.

Murray Energy said it is in the process of reviewing the report, but did say safety is the company’s highest priority.

This isn’t the first case of federal citations in a death regarding a miner with McElroy.

In May 2014, MSHA cited McElroy Coal for not ensuring all employees were safely in position during the process of setting up a longwall mining machine in a new area of the operation.

Roger R. King died Oct. 4, 2013, when he ended up hit in the head when a conveyor chain broke during the final stages of that longwall machine move. King, 62, of Moundsville, WV, was a senior longwall maintenance coordinator and had worked for the parent company since 1969, the last 17 years at the McElroy operation.

During the longwall move, a battery-powered scoop vehicle was in use with a hook and wire rope to pull the conveyor chain across the longwall face. The chain had issues, putting tension on the wire rope. King moved into the area along the mining face, and when the scoop brakes released, the wire rope came loose. A heavy roller and hook attached to the rope jumped 23 feet, striking King in the back of the head, according to the MSHA report.