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By Gary Bentley

In the Black: Fear Itself

A mountain with enough force to straighten a steel arch certainly has enough power to obliterate a miner in a heartbeat. What’s the solution for the men who have to secure the top? “Toughen up,” says Gary’s co-worker, and get back to work.

In the Black: Delay of Game

Safety concerns and a roof fall lead to an entirely new roof control plan that requires steel, wire mesh, 50-pound blocks, concrete, and brute force. Only then can the crew get back to original task of cutting a new entrance to the mine.

In the Black: Roof Control

I was still working on a crew cutting a new slope entrance to the mine. As we cut deeper into the mountain, we went through different strata. When the material changed, our methods for controlling the roof had to change with it.At the…