Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 45.2. Mines, Minerals, and Energy
Chapter 5. Coal Mine Safety Act

§ 45.2-555. Reports of explosions and mine fires; procedure.

A. If an explosion or mine fire occurs in a mine, the operator shall notify the Department by the quickest available means. All facilities of the mine shall be made available for rescue and recovery operations and firefighting.

B. No work other than rescue and recovery work and firefighting shall be attempted unless authorized by the Department.

C. If an explosion occurs in an underground coal mine, the fan shall not be reversed except by authority of the officials in charge of rescue and recovery work, and then only after a study of the effect of reversing the fan on any person who may have survived the explosion and is still underground.

D. The Department shall make available all the facilities at its disposal in effecting rescue and recovery work. The Chief shall act as consultant, or take personal charge, where in his opinion the circumstances of any mine explosion, fire, or other accident warrant.

E. The orders of the official in charge of rescue and recovery work shall be respected and obeyed by all persons engaged in rescue and recovery work.

F. The Chief shall maintain an up-to-date rescue and recovery plan for prompt and adequate employment at any coal mine in the Commonwealth. All employees of the Department shall be kept fully informed and trained in their respective duties in executing rescue and recovery plans. The Department's plan shall be reviewed annually. Any changes in the plan shall be published promptly and made available to all operators of mines.

Code 1950, § 45-14; 1954, c. 191; 1966, c. 594, § 45.1-6; 1984, c. 590; 1994, c. 28, § 45.1-161.77; 1997, c. 390; 1999, c. 256; 2011, cc. 826, 862; 2021, Sp. Sess. I, c. 387.

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.