United States Department of Labor releases final report regarding Barbour County fatal mine accident


The United States Department of Labor’s Mine Safety and Health Administration has released a report regarding a February mine accident that claimed a man’s life in Barbour County.

Leonard Griffith, 52, of Valley Bend, who was an electrician at Wolf Run Mining LLC’s Sentinel Mine with 13 years of mining experience, was fatally injured as a result of a rib roll, according to the report.

On February 6, Griffith was assigned to perform routine maintenance on a continuous mining machine and was discovered pinned under a large section of rib at approximately 3:45 a.m. next to the machine, MSHA said.

The fatal accident was a result of the coal ribs not being effectively controlled in the work area, MSHA said, and the rib support system used at the mine was not adequate for the geologic conditions.

There were no witnesses to the accident, according to the report.

Griffith, who had been employed at the mine since January 2015, received his annual refresher training on January 6, about a month before the accident. However, the documentation was incomplete, MSHA said. MSHA issued eight citations for inadequate documentation of task training.

MSHA also issued a citation to the mine for violating rule 75.202 in Title 30 of the Code of Federal Regulations, which requires the mine to protect employees from falls of roof, face and ribs.

To prevent an accident of this type from occurring again, the mine operator revised the roof control plan to require the installation of rib bolts in all entries on development, according to the report.

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