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Guidelines - Remote control for deep cuts

  1. During mining and place changing with remote control miners, all persons shall be positioned in an area that will afford protection to themselves and others from unsupported roof and moving equipment.
  2. During place changing, all persons involved in the move shall be positioned in a safe area, away from all parts of the miner, at all times while the miner is being trammed. Whenever possible, the continuous miner shall be trammed from inside the cab.
  3. The continuous miner operator (remote-control station) and other persons in the area, including haulage equipment operators, shall not expose any portion of their body inby the second outby row of permanent supports (next to last row) while the mining machine is in operation. A marker shall be placed on the second outby row of bolts prior to mining.
  4. No person shall be inby the continuous miner operator's work position while in the process of mining coal, unless he notifies the operator and can be located in a safe position. EXCEPTION: Equipment operators transporting the material being cut.
  5. In the event of a breakdown of face equipment where it is necessary to perform work inby permanent roof supports, the area shall be permanently supported to the tail (boom) of the equipment, and two complete rows of temporary supports on four-foot centers shall be installed the width of the cut inby where the work is to be performed. Ventilation curtain or tubing shall be installed and maintained inby the work area. Methane examinations shall be made every 20 minutes, 12 inches from the roof, face and rib by remote means when work is being performed. Blocking shall be provided on the equipment where practicable. All temporary supports shall be removed by remote means in a manner that miners will not be exposed to unsupported roof. When the breaker kicks on the machine and a miner is required to go inby unsupported roof to reset the breaker a minimum of a double row of temporary supports on four-foot centers to the breaker will be used. This work shall be performed under the direct supervision of a certified foreman.
  6. A conspicuous reference mark on the continuous mining machine or some other visual means shall be provided for the workers to determine when the maximum depth of cut is attained. (Chalk marks are not acceptable.)
  7. An ATRS equipped roof bolting machine shall be used to permanently support unsupported areas of an extended cut. The Bureau of Mine Safety will evaluate all ATRS systems.
  8. When a sidecut is planned to be turned from any mine opening, permanent roof supports (roof bolts) shall be installed inby the projected inby rib of the proposed sidecut for a distance of three full rows of bolts or totally supported if the distance is less.
  9. Roof supports shall be installed in sequence and spacing specified in the approved Roof Control Plan.
  10. When new openings are created and/or sidecuts are made, the newly exposed area shall be supported with permanent roof supports according to plan, before any other work is permitted in or inby the intersection. EXCEPTION: Conducting required examinations.
  11. No more than three deep cuts shall be left unsupported at any time during a normal production shift. Mined-out places that are known to be left standing over extended periods of time (holidays and weekends) shall be limited to a normal cut depth. (Operator's controls permitted to the last full row of supports.)
  12. When subnormal or adverse roof conditions are encountered, the depth of the cut will be limited until roof conditions have improved to a point where extended cuts may be resumed. At least two normal cuts will be taken in good (normal) roof and the roof evaluated by the mine foreman or section foreman, before extended cuts are resumed.
  13. During pillar recovery operations, all persons shall be out by the area of the immediate intersection when mining the final stump of a fender or pillar, except haulage equipment operators.
  14. The following safety features shall be incorporated on the remote control miner:
    1. A device to actuate the fire suppression system shall be installed on the remote control panel. Additionally, a device shall be installed which can be used to manually activate the fire suppression system from under supported roof.
    2. The methane monitor light shall be clearly visible to the machine operator at all times. Such light shall be other than white. Large digital readouts can be used.
    3. The fan spray shall be operated remotely from the remote control panel.
  15. Required methane examinations shall be made 12 inches from the roof, face, and ribs with an extendible probe approved for each mine. The Pennsylvania- approved guidelines for the extendible probe shall be complied with. Alternate approved methods of measuring face methane content may be used.
  16. Ventilation shall be established according to the approved fan spray or scrubber system used at the mine
  17. When the roof bolting cycle is started, the line brattice may be removed a sufficient distance to provide a safe work area and will be advanced as necessary.
  18. When mining crosscuts, the approved cut depth shall not be exceeded.
  19. Failure to comply with any of the guidelines will result in immediate revocation of plan approval. The Bureau of Mine Safety will issue this revocation in writing.