NIOSH Releases New Safety Video:
Make It Safer With Roof Screen
Coal miners, especially roof bolter and continuous
miner operators, work in a hazardous underground
environment where they are often exposed to poor
roof conditions. Nearly 500 rock fall injuries are
reported each year, and 99% of them are caused by
rocks falling from between the roof bolts. These
loose rocks that injure miners are usually just a few
inches thick, but on average weigh 280 pounds.
NIOSH has found that most rock fall injuries can
be prevented by installing roof screen during the
bolting cycle. Roof screen is a sheet made of steel
wires in a grid pattern. When screen is bolted up
against the mine roof, it provides far more coverage
than any common surface control used in the mines
today. Because more mine roof is covered, there is
less chance that a rock will fall and injure a miner.
The facts about roof screen are shown in the new
NIOSH video entitled “Make It Safer With Roof
Screen.” Using extensive underground footage, the
7-minute video shows how well screen keeps loose
rock from falling in difficult roof conditions.
Techniques for installing screen from both outside-
controlled and walk-thru roof bolting machines are
shown. The video also provides safe handling tips,
best practices, and
information about machine
technology that can greatly improve material handling.
Throughout the video, a coal mine safety manager and
a shift foreman talk about the tremendous difference
that roof screen has made at their mines.
An instructional booklet supplements the video with
additional information. It presents compelling data
from mines that have practically eliminated rock fall
injuries with a roof screening program. Other sections
of the booklet discuss in greater detail roof screen
installation, tips for manual screen handling, a material
handling system for roof screen, and use of the
personal bolter screen, which can be easily handled by
one person. Screen specification and