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Virginia Administrative Code
Title 4. Conservation And Natural Resources
Agency 25. Department Of Mines, Minerals And Energy
Chapter 125. Regulations Governing Coal Stockpiles and Bulk Storage and Handling Facilities
9/20/2021

4VAC25-125-30. Safety precautions for stockpiles with underlying feeders.

A. Telephone or equivalent two-way communications shall be established between equipment operators working on stockpiles and those persons who are operating conveyors, feeders, hoppers or load-out facilities drawing from those stockpiles. Communication shall be maintained as necessary to keep such equipment operators advised of potential hazards during draw down activities.

B. No person shall travel on foot directly over areas of coal stockpiles where underlying feeders are in place, except:

1. In accordance with the provisions of subdivision D 5 of this section, or

2. On an emergency basis, under direct supervision of a certified foreman while secured by a safety line with coal stockpile feeders de-energized, locked out, and suitably tagged.

C. No person shall operate equipment on a coal stockpile directly over areas where underlying coal feeders are in place without a stockpile safety plan approved by the chief. The plan shall be submitted by the mine operator or agent and, when approved, shall be posted at the mine site. Before any person first works on stockpiles with underlying feeders, the approved plan shall be reviewed with that person. A record shall be maintained of such review for a period of two years.

D. The plan shall outline procedures to protect the health and safety of mobile equipment operators working on a stockpile or coal storage area directly over areas where underlying coal feeders are in place. Plan procedures shall be approved and shall include:

1. A method of determining that no miners or equipment are in the affected area before starting stockpile underlying feeders;

2. A method of determining the expected draw hole size in correlation to the stockpile size;

3. Safe procedures for breaking through bridged cavities;

4. Development of contingencies for safe recovery of personnel should a piece of equipment become entrapped, which shall be reviewed with all personnel during annual retraining;

5. Safe procedures for travel by foot should it be necessary during nonemergencies;

6. Information on how the operator will comply with the requirements of this section.

E. The following requirements will be met where mobile equipment operators work on stockpiles with underlying feeders:

1. Beginning August 25, 2004, all mobile equipment manually operated on coal stockpiles, where there is a potential of the equipment falling into a cavity, shall be equipped with an enclosed cab fitted with chemically tempered glass and a window support system. However, glass certified to withstand 40 psi may be installed without a window support system provided that such glass is installed in a frame that provides equal strength and support. Other types of glass and window frames or support system may be used provided that an equal or greater amount of protection is afforded.

2. Mobile equipment shall be equipped with an enclosed cab and doors and windows shall be closed and secured at all times the equipment is in operation on the stockpile.

3. The equipment cab shall be provided with two self-contained self-rescuers. Equipment operators shall be trained in the donning and use of self-rescuers.

4. The equipment operator shall be provided with a remote control device capable of stopping the flow of coal from the feeder and coal coming onto the stockpile. Such device shall be tested weekly.

5. Emergency lighting shall be provided for the mobile equipment operator.

6. Warning signs shall be posted at the entrances to all coal stockpiles with underlying coal feeders.

7. Underlying free-flowing feeders shall be equipped with gates or other controls so that material cannot inadvertently discharge when the feeder is not activated.

8. When pushing material over the crest of a stockpile or draw hole, the equipment shall be stopped a safe distance from the edge and other material will be used to bump the material over such area.

9. When underlying feeders are used, the location of each draw-off point will be clearly indicated by a marker suspended directly above the underlying feeder.

10. Visual indicators shall be provided to show the mobile equipment operators which feeders are being used.

11. The equipment shall have a primary two-way communications system and a back-up communication system supplied by an independent power source.

Statutory Authority

§§ 45.1-161.3, 45.1-161.106 and 45.1-161.254 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 20, Issue 23, eff. August 25, 2004.

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