The new outlines are, in part, the result of the Coal Jobs and Safety Act, which was passed in March, under which regulators wanted to introduce ways to avoid equipment accidents.
While the rules do not include track-mounted equipment, such as compressors and locomotives, the use of continuous miners, crusher feeders and coal drills, shuttle cars and more are required to be transported or trammed only by “qualified personnel” with direct oversight of a foreman.
“When equipment is being transported or trammed where trolley wire is energized on the split of air in which said equipment is being transported or trammed, no person shall be permitted to be inby the equipment in the ventilating split that is passing over such equipment, except those directly involved with transporting or tramming the equipment, and shall be under the direct supervision of a certified foreman,” the documentation released this week by the agency indicated.
“To avoid accidental contact with power lines, face equipment shall be insulated and assemblies removed, if necessary, so as to provide clearance.”
Additionally, the rules include the direct supervision of a certified foreman to crews during an equipment move. Documented pre- and post-move examinations of the respective areas are also now required by a foreman or fireboss within eight hours prior to the move and within three hours after it is complete.
Track equipment, including cutting machines, drills and track-mounted roof bolters, will be permitted to operate normally under the new outlines so long as they do not create a great fire risk and that no less than 12 in. of radius clearance is maintained between trolley or feeder wires during tramming.
“Within eight hours prior to such equipment move, trolley wire crossovers and switches located on the equipment travel route shall be examined for proper clearance by a certified foreman or fireboss and the following necessary safety precautions implemented,” regulators added.
The rules, which include but are not limited to the above, are viewable in full detail here.
The Board of Coal Mine Health and Safety has opened up a comment period for input on the rules. All comments must be received by 5 p.m. on July 6.