Code of Virginia

Creating a Report: Check the sections you'd like to appear in the report, then use the "Create Report" button at the bottom of the page to generate your report. Once the report is generated you'll then have the option to download it as a pdf, print or email the report.

Code of Virginia
Title 45.1. Mines and Mining
Chapter 14.4:1. Mineral Mine Safety Act
9/19/2019

§ 45.1-161.292:2. Definitions.

As used in this chapter and in Chapters 14.5 (§ 45.1-161.293 et seq.) and 14.6 (§ 45.1-161.304 et seq.) and in regulations promulgated under such chapters, unless the context requires a different meaning:

"Abandoned area" means the inaccessible area of an underground mine that is sealed or ventilated and in which further mining is not intended.

"Accident" means (i) a death of an individual at a mine; (ii) a serious personal injury; (iii) an entrapment of an individual for more than 30 minutes; (iv) an unplanned inundation of a mine by liquid or gas; (v) an unplanned ignition or explosion of gas or dust; (vi) an unplanned mine fire not extinguished within 30 minutes of discovery; (vii) an unplanned ignition or explosion of a blasting agent or an explosive; (viii) an unplanned roof fall at or above the anchorage zone in active workings where roof bolts are in use; or an unplanned roof or rib fall in active workings that impairs ventilation or impedes passage; (ix) a rock outburst that causes withdrawal of miners or which disrupts regular mining activity for more than one hour; (x) an unstable condition at an impoundment or refuse pile which requires emergency action in order to prevent failure, or which causes individuals to evacuate an area; or, failure of an impoundment, or refuse pile; (xi) damage to hoisting equipment in a shaft or slope which endangers an individual or which interferes with use of the equipment for more than 30 minutes; and (xii) an event at a mine which causes death or bodily injury to an individual not at a mine at the time the event occurs.

"Active areas" means all places in a mine that are ventilated, if underground, and examined regularly.

"Active workings" means any place in a mine where miners are normally required to work or travel.

"Agent" means any person charged by the operator with responsibility for the operation of all or a part of a mine or the supervision of the miners in a mine.

"Approved" means a device, apparatus, equipment, condition, method, course or practice approved in writing by the Director.

"Approved competent person" means a person designated by the Department as having the authority to function as a mine foreman even though the person has less than five years' experience but more than two years' experience. If an approved competent person has met all the criteria for a mine foreman certification other than the experience criteria, he may perform the duties of a mine foreman except the pre-shift examination.

"Armored cable" means a cable provided with a wrapping of metal, plastic or other approved material.

"Authorized person" means a person assigned by the operator or agent to perform a specific type of duty or duties or to be at a specific location or locations in the mine who is task trained in accordance with requirements of the federal mine safety law.

"Blower fan" means a fan with tubing used to direct part of a particular circuit of air to a working place.

"Booster fan" means an underground fan installed in conjunction with a main fan to increase the volume of air in one or more circuits.

"Cable" means a stranded conductor (single-conductor cable) or a combination of conductors insulated from one another (multiple-conductor cable).

"Certified person" means a person holding a valid certificate from the Department authorizing him to perform the task to which he is assigned.

"Circuit" means a conducting part or a system of conducting parts through which an electric current is intended to flow.

"Circuit breaker" means a device for interrupting a circuit between separable contacts under normal or abnormal conditions.

"Competent person" means a person having abilities and experience that fully qualify him to perform the duty to which he is assigned.

"Cross entry" means any entry or set of entries, turned from main entries, from which room entries are turned.

"Department" means the Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy.

"Experienced surface miner" means a person with more than six months of experience working at a surface mine or the surface area of an underground mine.

"Experienced underground miner" means a person with more than six months of underground mining experience.

"Federal mine safety law" means the Federal Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977 (P.L. 95-164), and regulations promulgated thereunder.

"Fuse" means an overcurrent protective device with a circuit-opening fusible member directly heated and destroyed by the passage of overcurrent through it.

"Ground" means a conducting connection between an electric circuit or equipment and earth or to some conducting body which serves in place of earth.

"Grounded" means connected to earth or to some connecting body which serves in place of the earth.

"Hazardous condition" means conditions that are likely to cause death or serious personal injury to persons exposed to such conditions.

"Imminent danger" means the existence of any condition or practice in a mine which could reasonably be expected to cause death or serious personal injury before such condition or practice can be abated.

"Inactive mine" means a mine (i) at which coal or minerals have not been excavated or processed, or work, other than examinations by a certified person or emergency work to preserve the mine, has not been performed at an underground mine for a period of 30 days, or at a surface mine for a period of 60 days, (ii) for which a valid license is in effect, and (iii) at which reclamation activities have not been completed.

"Independent contractor" means any person that contracts to perform services or construction at a mine.

"Intake air" means air that has not passed through the last active working place of the split or by the unsealed entrances to abandoned areas and by analysis contains not less than 19.5 percent oxygen nor more than 0.5 percent of carbon dioxide, nor any hazardous quantities of flammable gas nor any harmful amounts of poisonous gas.

"Interested persons" means members of the Mine Safety Committee and other duly authorized representatives of the employees at a mine; federal Mine Safety and Health Administration employees; mine inspectors; and, to the extent required by this chapter and Chapters 14.5 (§ 45.1-161.293 et seq.) and 14.6 (§ 45.1-161.304 et seq.), any other person.

"Licensed operator" means the operator who has obtained the license for a particular mine under § 45.1-161.292:30.

"Main entry" means the principal entry or set of entries driven through the coal bed or mineral deposit from which cross entries, room entries, or rooms are turned.

"Mine" means any underground mineral mine or surface mineral mine. Mines that are adjacent to each other and under the same management and which are administered as distinct units shall be considered as separate mines. A site shall not be a mine unless the mineral extracted or excavated therefrom is offered for sale or exchange, or used for any other commercial purposes.

"Mine fire" means an unplanned fire not extinguished within 30 minutes of discovery.

"Mine foreman" means a person holding a valid certificate of qualification as a foreman issued by the Department.

"Mine inspector" means a public employee assigned by the Director to make mine inspections as required by this chapter and Chapters 14.5 (§ 45.1-161.293 et seq.) and 14.6 (§ 45.1-161.304 et seq.), and other applicable laws.

"Miner" means any individual working in a mineral mine.

"Mineral" means clay, stone, sand, gravel, metalliferous and nonmetalliferous ores, and any other solid material or substance of commercial value excavated in solid form from natural deposits on or in the earth, exclusive of coal and those minerals which occur naturally in liquid or gaseous form.

"Mineral mine" means a surface mineral mine or an underground mineral mine.

"Mineral Mine Safety Act" or "Act" shall mean this chapter and Chapters 14.5 (§ 45.1-161.293 et seq.) and 14.6 (§ 45.1-161.304 et seq.), and shall include any regulations promulgated thereunder, where applicable.

"Operator" means any person who operates, controls or supervises a mine or any independent contractor performing services or construction at such mine.

"Panel entry" means a room entry.

"Permissible" means a device, process, or equipment or method heretofore or hereafter classified by such term by the Mine Safety and Health Administration, when such classification is adopted by the Director, and includes, unless otherwise herein expressly stated, all requirements, restrictions, exceptions, limitations, and conditions attached to such classification by the Administration.

"Return air" means air that has passed through the last active working place on each split, or air that has passed through abandoned or worked-out areas. Area within a panel shall not be deemed abandoned until inaccessible or sealed.

"Room entry" means any entry or set of entries from which rooms are turned.

"Serious personal injury" means any injury which has a reasonable potential to cause death or any injury other than a sprain or strain which requires an admission to a hospital for 24 hours or more for medical treatment.

"Substation" means an electrical installation containing generating or power-conversion equipment and associated electric equipment and parts, such as switchboards, switches, wiring, fuses, circuit breakers, compensators and transformers.

"Surface mineral mine" means (i) the pit and other active and inactive areas of surface extraction of minerals; (ii) on-site mills, shops, loadout facilities, and related structures appurtenant to the excavation and processing of minerals; (iii) impoundments, retention dams, tailing ponds, and other areas appurtenant to the extraction of minerals from the site; (iv) on-site surface areas for the transportation and storage of minerals excavated at the site; (v) equipment, machinery, tools and other property used in, or to be used in, the work of extracting minerals from the site; (vi) private ways and roads appurtenant to such area; and (vii) the areas used for surface-disturbing exploration (other than by drilling or seismic testing) or preparation of a site for surface mineral extraction activities. A site shall commence being a surface mineral mine upon the beginning of any surface-disturbing exploration activities other than exploratory drilling or seismic testing, and shall cease to be a surface mineral mine upon completion of initial reclamation activities. The surface extraction of a mineral shall not constitute surface mineral mining unless (a) the mineral is extracted for its unique or intrinsic characteristics, or (b) the mineral requires processing prior to its intended use.

"Travel way" means a passage, walk or way regularly used and designated for persons to go from one place to another.

"Underground mineral mine" means (i) the working face and other active and inactive areas of underground excavation of minerals; (ii) underground travel ways, shafts, slopes, drifts, inclines and tunnels connected to such areas; (iii) on-site mills, loadout areas, shops, and related facilities appurtenant to the excavation and processing of minerals; (iv) on-site surface areas for the transportation and storage of minerals excavated at the site; (v) impoundments, retention dams, tailing ponds and waste areas appurtenant to the excavation of minerals from the site; (vi) equipment, machinery, tools, and other property, on the surface or underground, used in, or to be used in, the excavation of minerals from the site; (vii) private ways and roads appurtenant to such area; and (viii) the areas used to prepare a site for underground mineral excavation activities. A site shall commence being an underground mineral mine upon the beginning of any site preparation activity other than exploratory drilling or other exploration activity, and shall cease to be an underground mineral mine upon completion of initial reclamation activities.

"Work area," as used in Chapter 14.4 (§ 45.1-161.253 et seq.), means those areas of a mine in production or being prepared for production and those areas of the mine which may pose a danger to miners at such areas.

"Working face" means any place in a mine in which work of extracting minerals from their natural deposit in the earth is performed during the mining cycle.

"Working place" means the area of an underground mine inby the last open crosscut.

"Working section" means all areas from the loading point of a section to and including the working faces.

1997, c. 390; 1998, c. 695; 2012, cc. 803, 835.

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.