Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 45.1. Mines and Mining
Chapter 14.5. Requirements Applicable to Underground Mineral Mines
7/15/2019

§ 45.1-161.303. Fire precautions in transportation of mining equipment.

A. The Director shall promulgate regulations requiring fire precautions be taken when mining equipment is transported underground in proximity to energized trolley wires or trolley feeder wires.

B. Until the final regulations promulgated by the Director pursuant to subsection A become effective, the following standards shall apply to the transportation of mining equipment underground:

1. Prior to moving or transporting any unit of off-track mining equipment in areas of the active workings where energized trolley wires or trolley feeder wires are present: (i) the unit of equipment shall be examined by a certified person to ensure that accumulations of oil, grease, and other combustible materials have been removed from such unit of equipment; and (ii) a qualified person shall examine the trolley wires, trolley feeder wires, and the associated automatic circuit interrupting devices to ensure that proper short circuit protection exists.

2. A record shall be kept of the examinations and shall be made available, upon request, to the Director or his authorized representative.

3. Off-track mining equipment shall be moved or transported in areas of the active workings where energized trolley wires or trolley feeder wires are present only under the direct supervision of a certified person who shall be physically present at all times during moving or transporting such equipment.

4. The frames of off-track mining equipment being moved or transported, in accordance with this subsection, shall be covered on the top and on the trolley wire side with fire-resistant material, where appropriate as determined by the Director.

5. Electrical contact shall be maintained between the mine track and the frames of off-track mining equipment being moved in-track and trolley entries, except that rubber-tired equipment need not be grounded to a transporting vehicle if no metal part of such rubber-tired equipment can come into contact with the transporting vehicle.

6. To avoid accidental contact with power lines, the equipment being transported or trammed shall be insulated or assemblage removed, if necessary, if the clearance to the power lines is six inches or less.

7. Sufficient prior notice shall be given the Department so that a mine inspector may travel the route of the move before the actual move is made, if he deems it necessary.

8. A minimum vertical clearance of twelve inches shall be maintained between the farthest projection of the unit of equipment which is being moved and the energized trolley wires or trolley feeder wires at all times during the movement or transportation of such equipment. If the height of the seam of minerals does not permit twelve inches of vertical clearance to be so maintained, the following additional precautions shall be taken:

a. Electric power shall be supplied to the trolley wires or trolley feeder wires only from outby the unit of equipment being moved or transported. Where direct current electric power is used and such electric power can be supplied only from inby the equipment being moved or transported, power may be supplied from inby such equipment if a miner with the means to cut off the power, and in direct communication with persons actually engaged in the moving or transporting operation, is stationed outby the equipment being moved;

b. The settings of automatic circuit interrupting devices used to provide short circuit protection for the trolley circuit shall be reduced to not more than one-half of the maximum current that could flow if the equipment being moved or transported were to come into contact with the trolley wire or trolley feeder wire;

c. At all times the unit of equipment is being moved or transported, a miner shall be stationed at the first automatic circuit breaker outby the equipment being moved. Such miner shall be in direct communication with persons actually engaged in the moving or transporting operation, and capable of communicating with the authorized person on the surface required to be on duty;

d. Where trolley phones are utilized to satisfy the requirements of paragraph c of this subdivision, telephones or other equivalent two-way communication devices that can readily be connected with the mine communication system shall be carried by the miner stationed at the first automatic circuit breaker outby the equipment being moved and by a miner actually engaged in the moving or transporting operation; and

e. No person shall be permitted to be inby the unit of equipment being moved or transported, in the ventilating current of air that is passing over such equipment, except those persons directly engaged in moving such equipment.

The provisions of subdivisions 1 through 8 shall not apply to units of mining equipment that are transported in mine cars, provided that no part of the equipment extends above or over the sides of the mine car.

Code 1950, § 45-14.1; 1954, c. 191; 1966, c. 594, § 45.1-89; 1974, c. 323; 1978, c. 118; 1984, c. 590; 1985, c. 500; 1994, c. 28.

The chapters of the acts of assembly referenced in the historical citation at the end of this section may not constitute a comprehensive list of such chapters and may exclude chapters whose provisions have expired.