Coal bearing rocks are low in strength and have geological discontinuities and moisture sensitivity. Roof and rib falls have been a major cause of fatalities in underground coal mines. Mine engineers design ground control plans for regulatory approvals. A number of tools are available from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health to design and assess these plans. Quite often there is not enough geotechnical input information available and databases are used. The Appalachian coalfields have extensive scientific studies to provide reliable regional inputs. Coal mines in the western United States and Canada have different geological and geotechnical conditions, and less available data. Use of inappropriate inputs in the tools like Analysis of Retreat Mining Pillar Stability, Analysis of Longwall Pillar Stability, and Analysis of Roof Bolt Systems may result in unsafe designs or over conservative designs. The tools are convenient but thorough understanding of the inputs, calibration with local test results, and operating experience are important for effective designs. The current paper contains examples of difficulties faced during mine planning using the above tools.