Bledsoe Coal Co. was negligent when foremen and supervisors didn't warn miners of hazardous conditions before a fatal collapse in January, the Mine Safety and Health Administration said in issuing four citations this week.
Travis Glenn Brock, 29, of Helton was operating a continuous-miner machine in the Abner Branch Mine in Leslie County when the corner of a pillar collapsed.
Brock, who state officials said was certified and had 12 years' experience in mines, was crushed by a 9-ton piece of rock.
Bledsoe and its parent company, James River Coal, "failed to conduct adequate pre-shift and on-shift examinations and ignored the hazardous rib conditions," the MSHA fatal accident report says.
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The company also failed to modify its roof-control plan to address changing geological conditions in the mine, the report says.
Three of the four citations were for "unwarrantable failure," the most serious type of citation.
According to MSHA records, the Abner Branch Mine has been assessed more than $160,000 in fines for five similar citations in 2010 and is contesting some of those fines.
They include fines for accumulation of coal dust, failure to prevent collapses and incorrectly maintaining and following a mine-ventilation plan.
The mine has had at least eight roof falls or wall collapses since November, one of which resulted in an injury to a miner in December, MSHA records say.