The solenoids, said officials, were damaged by “side loading” due to contact with a trailing cable, upon cable flexing. MSHA recommends installing guarding to protect valve banks, spools, solenoids and solenoids cables from damage to prevent these items from contacting other machine components.


MSHA officials further recommend positioning trailing cables to keep them from damaging components essential to the machine’s proper functions. Officials also advise ensuring continuous mining machine operators and maintenance personnel examine valve banks, valve spools, solenoids, solenoid cables and the trailing cable, and keep areas where these components are located obstruction-free.

In addition, MSHA says de-energizing the continuous mining machine and removing it from service when worn or damaged components are found, is important. Meanwhile, officials advise for the development of programs, policies and procedures with which to train production and maintenance crews to examine these areas on remote controlled, continuous mining equipment.