Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 45.1. Mines and Mining
Chapter 14.3. Requirements Applicable to Underground Coal Mines
7/25/2021

Article 2. Roof, Rib and Face Control.

§ 45.1-161.108. (Repealed effective October 1, 2021) Roof, ribs and faces to be secure.

A. All underground active workings and travel ways shall be secured and controlled to protect miners from falls of roof, face or ribs. Loose roof and loose or overhanging ribs and faces shall be taken down or supported.

B. The method of mining followed shall not expose miners to hazardous conditions caused by excessive widths of rooms and entries, faulty pillar-recovery methods, or other hazardous mining methods or working conditions.

Code 1950, §§ 45-68.1 to 45-68.3; 1954, c. 191; 1966, c. 594, §§ 45.1-40, 45.1-41; 1975, c. 520; 1978, cc. 118, 729; 1980, c. 338; 1982, c. 234; 1984, c. 590; 1988, c. 577; 1994, c. 28; 1996, c. 774; 1999, c. 256.

§ 45.1-161.109. (Repealed effective October 1, 2021) Roof control plans.

A. Each underground coal mine shall have a roof control plan approved by the Chief. Each plan shall include (i) a minimum standard for adequately controlling the roof, face, and ribs; (ii) a description of mining methods used; (iii) a listing and specification of roof and rib support materials; (iv) instruction for the installation of temporary and permanent roof supports; (v) a description of any pillar recovery methods; (vi) applicable drawings that demonstrate width of openings, roof support installation sequences, and pillar recovery sequences; and (vii) any additional requirements deemed necessary by the Chief. The initial submission of any roof control plan shall include maps of mine projections, overlying and underlying mine workings, coal contours, and surface contours. If changes are to be made in the mining system that necessitate any change in the roof control plan, the plan shall be revised and approved by the Chief prior to implementing the new mining system.

B. The Chief shall, where he deems necessary, prescribe adequate minimum standards for systematic support of mine roof, suitable to the roof conditions and mining system of each mine. Such standards shall be incorporated into an approved roof control plan for the mine. This section shall not apply to roof control systems installed prior to January 27, 1988, so long as the support system continues to effectively control the roof, face and ribs.

C. Failure to comply with the approved roof control plan for the mine shall constitute a violation of this section.

D. The approved roof control plan shall be posted conspicuously at the mine and a copy shall be available at each working section of the mine.

E. The minimum standards and plan shall provide for temporary support at all active workings, without regard to natural condition.

F. If the minimum standards do not afford adequate protection, such additional supports as shall be necessary shall be installed. Such additional supports shall be described in the plan.

Code 1950, § 45-68.2; 1954, c. 191; 1966, c. 594, § 45.1-40; 1975, c. 520; 1978, c. 729; 1984, c. 590; 1994, c. 28; 1999, c. 256; 2005, c. 3; 2011, cc. 826, 862.

§ 45.1-161.110. (Repealed effective October 1, 2021) Instruction of miners.

The operator, or his agent, shall instruct all miners in the removal and installation of temporary and permanent roof supports as may be required by the roof control plan.

Code 1950, § 45-68.2; 1954, c. 191; 1966, c. 594, § 45.1-40; 1975, c. 520; 1978, c. 729; 1984, c. 590; 1994, c. 28.

§ 45.1-161.111. (Repealed effective October 1, 2021) Copies of plan.

The operator, or his agent, shall furnish to any miner engaged in removing or installing temporary or permanent roof supports, upon request, a copy of the roof control plan.

Code 1950, § 45-68.2; 1954, c. 191; 1966, c. 594, § 45.1-40; 1975, c. 520; 1978, c. 729; 1984, c. 590; 1994, c. 28.

§ 45.1-161.112. Repealed.

Repealed by Acts 1996, c. 774, effective April 6, 1996.

§ 45.1-161.114. (Repealed effective October 1, 2021) Automated temporary roof support systems.

The Chief shall promulgate regulations requiring automated temporary roof support systems for the installation of roof bolts.

Code 1950, §§ 45-68.1, 45-68.3; 1954, c. 191; 1966, c. 594, § 45.1-41; 1975, c. 520; 1978, c. 118; 1980, c. 338; 1982, c. 234; 1988, c. 577; 1994, c. 28; 1999, c. 256.

§ 45.1-161.115. (Repealed effective October 1, 2021) Supplies of materials for supports.

A. The operator, or his agent, shall provide at or near the working places an ample supply of suitable materials of proper size with which to secure all roofs, ribs and faces of working places in a safe manner. Suitable supply materials shall be provided for variations in seam height. If the operator, or his agent, fails to provide such suitable materials, the mine foreman shall cause the miners to withdraw from the mine, or the portion thereof affected, until such material or supplies are received.

B. Safety posts, jacks or temporary crossbars shall be set close to the face before other operations are begun and as needed thereafter, if miners go in by the last permanent roof support.

C. Unless an automated temporary roof support system is used, safety posts or jacks shall be used to protect the miners when roof material is being taken down, crossbars are being installed, roof bolt holes are being drilled, roof bolts are being installed, or when any other work is being performed that would reasonably require roof support to protect the miners involved.

D. The operator, or his agent, shall make immediately available for emergency use at each mine site at least two lifting devices with a combined total of at least 80 tons lifting capacity. Each individual lifting device shall have 20 tons or greater lifting capacity.

Code 1950, §§ 45-68.1, 45-68.3; 1954, c. 191; 1966, c. 594, § 45.1-41; 1975, c. 520; 1978, c. 118; 1980, c. 338; 1982, c. 234; 1988, c. 577; 1994, c. 28; 1996, c. 774; 1999, c. 256; 2005, c. 3.

§ 45.1-161.116. (Repealed effective October 1, 2021) Examination and testing of roof, face, and ribs.

A. The operator, or his agent, shall instruct all miners how to make visual examinations and sound and vibration testing of roof, face and ribs.

B. Miners exposed to danger from falls of roof, face, and ribs shall visually examine and, if conditions permit, test the roof, face, and ribs by sounding the roof before starting work or before starting a machine and as frequently thereafter as may be necessary to ensure safety. When hazardous conditions are found, miners discovering them shall correct such conditions immediately by taking down the loose material, by proper timbering, or installation of proper roof support before work is continued or any other work is done, or shall vacate the place.

C. At least once each shift, or more often if necessary, the mine foreman or other certified person shall examine and test the roof, face and ribs of all active working sections where coal is being produced while miners are working therein. Any place in which a hazardous condition is found by the mine foreman shall be made safe in his presence or under his direction, or the miners shall be withdrawn from such place. Such hazardous conditions and corrective actions taken shall be recorded in the on-shift record book at the mine.

Code 1950, §§ 45-61, 45-68.1; 1954, c. 191; 1966, c. 594, § 45.1-42; 1976, c. 598; 1978, c. 118; 1994, c. 28; 1996, c. 774; 1999, c. 256; 2005, c. 3.

§ 45.1-161.117. (Repealed effective October 1, 2021) Mapping of roof falls.

Unplanned roof falls that are required to be reported in accordance with § 45.1-161.78 shall be marked on a map maintained at the mine to indicate the specific location of the fall.

Code 1950, §§ 45-61, 45-68.1; 1954, c. 191; 1966, c. 594, § 45.1-42; 1976, c. 598; 1978, c. 118; 1994, c. 28; 1999, c. 256; 2005, c. 3.

§ 45.1-161.118. (Repealed effective October 1, 2021) Unsafe conditions.

A. No person shall work or travel under unsupported roof except to install temporary supports in accordance with the approved roof control plan. Areas inby the breaker line where second mining has been or is being conducted shall be considered unsupported.

B. If roof, face, or rib conditions are found to be unsafe, no person shall start any other work until the conditions have been corrected by taking down loose material or securely supporting the roof, face, or ribs.

C. A bar of proper length shall be used to pull down any loose material discovered.

Code 1950, §§ 45-61, 45-68.1, 45-68.3; 1954, c. 191; 1966, c. 594, §§ 45.1-41, 45.1-42; 1975, c. 520; 1976, c. 598; 1978, c. 118; 1980, c. 338; 1982, c. 234; 1988, c. 577; 1994, c. 28; 1999, c. 256; 2005, c. 3.

§ 45.1-161.119. (Repealed effective October 1, 2021) Removal of supports.

A. No person shall deliberately remove any support in active areas unless equivalent protection is provided.

B. Any person who accidentally knocks out or dislodges a support shall promptly replace the support.

Code 1950, §§ 45-68.1, 45-68.3; 1954, c. 191; 1966, c. 594, § 45.1-41; 1975, c. 520; 1978, c. 118; 1980, c. 338; 1982, c. 234; 1988, c. 577; 1994, c. 28.

§ 45.1-161.120. Repealed.

Repealed by Acts 2005, c. 3, cl. 2, effective February 10, 2005.