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 7. Hoisting.

§ 45.1-161.153. (Repealed effective October 1, 2021) Hoisting equipment.

A. All hoists used for handling men shall be equipped with overspeed, overwind, and automatic stop controls.

B. All suspended work decks and platforms (i) shall operate automatically, (ii) shall be equipped with guardrails capable of protecting men and materials from accidental overturning, and (iii) shall be equipped with safety belts and such other protective devices as the Chief shall require by regulation.

C. Any platform or work deck used for transporting miners or materials shall be equipped with leveling indicators and such conveyance shall be maintained and operated in a reasonably level position at all times.

D. Slope, shaft, or surface incline hoists shall be equipped with brakes capable of stopping and holding the fully loaded unbalanced cage or trip at any point in the shaft or slope or on the incline.

E. An accurate and reliable indicator showing the position of the cage or trip shall be placed so as to be in clear view of the hoisting engineer, unless the position of the car or trip is clearly visible to the hoisting engineer or other person operating the equipment at all times.

F. Any conveyance used to haul miners or materials within a shaft or slope (i) shall be designed to prevent materials from falling back into the shaft or slope and (ii) shall be equipped with a retaining edge of not less than six inches to prevent objects from falling into the shaft or slope.

Code 1950, § 45-68.4; 1954, c. 191; 1966, c. 594, §§ 45.1-68, 45.1-69; 1972, c. 784; 1978, c. 729; 1994, c. 28.

§ 45.1-161.154. (Repealed effective October 1, 2021) Hoisting ropes.

A. Hoisting ropes on all cages or trips shall be adequate in size to handle the load and have a proper factor of safety. Ropes used to hoist or lower coal and other materials shall have a factor of safety of not less than five to one; ropes used to hoist or lower miners shall have a factor of safety of not less than 10 to one.

B. The hoisting rope shall have at least three full turns on the drum when extended to its maximum working length. The rope shall make at least one full turn on the drum shaft or around the spoke of the drum, in case of a free drum, and be fastened securely by means of clamps.

C. The hoisting rope shall be fastened to its load by a spelter-filled socket or by a thimble and adequate number of clamps properly spaced and installed.

D. Any cage, man-car, or trip used for hoisting or lowering men with a single rope shall be provided with two bridle chains or wire ropes connected securely to the rope at least three feet above the socket or thimble and to the crosspiece of the cage or to the man-car or trip. Multiple hoisting ropes installed according to subsection C may be used in lieu of two bridle chains.

E. When equipment or supplies are being hoisted or lowered in the slope, safety chains or wire ropes shall be provided and connected securely to the hoist rope. In addition, visible or audible warning devices shall be installed in the slope where they may be seen or heard by persons approaching the slope track entry from any access.

Code 1950, § 45-68.4; 1954, c. 191; 1966, c. 594, §§ 45.1-68, 45.1-89.1; 1972, c. 784; 1978, c. 729; 1983, c. 111; 1994, c. 28; 2005, c. 3; 2011, cc. 826, 862.

§ 45.1-161.155. (Repealed effective October 1, 2021) Hoisting cages.

A. Cages used for hoisting miners shall be of substantial construction and shall have (i) adequate steel bonnets, with enclosed sides; (ii) gates, safety chains, or bars across the ends of the cage when men are being hoisted or lowered; and (iii) sufficient handholds or chains for all men on the cage to maintain their balance. A locking device to prevent tilting of the cage shall be used on all self-dumping cages when miners are transported thereon.

B. The floor of the cage shall be constructed so that it will be adequate to carry the load and so that it will be impossible for a miner's foot or body to enter any opening in the bottom of the cage.

C. Cages used for hoisting miners shall be equipped with safety catches that act quickly and effectively in case of an emergency. The provisions of this subsection shall not apply to capsules or buckets used for emergency escape or used during slope or shaft sinking.

Code 1950, § 45-68.4; 1954, c. 191; 1966, c. 594, § 45.1-69; 1978, c. 729; 1994, c. 28; 1997, c. 293.

§ 45.1-161.156. (Repealed effective October 1, 2021) Slope and shaft conditions.

A. All shafts shall be equipped with safety gates at the top and at each landing. Safety gates shall be kept closed except when the cage is being loaded or unloaded.

B. Positive-acting stopblocks or derails shall be installed near the top and at intermediate landings of slopes and surface inclines and at the approaches to all shaft landings.

C. Positive-acting stopblocks or derails shall be installed on the haulage track in the slope near the top of the slope. The stopblocks or derails shall be in a position to hold or stop any load, including heavy mining equipment, to be lowered into the mine until such time as the equipment is to be lowered into the mine by the hoist.

D. At the bottom of each hoisting shaft and at intermediate landings, a runaround shall be provided for safe passage from one side of the shaft to the other. This passageway shall be not less than five feet in height and three feet in width.

E. Ice shall not be permitted to accumulate excessively in any shaft where miners are hoisted or lowered.

Code 1950, § 45-68.4; 1954, c. 191; 1966, c. 594, §§ 45.1-69, 45.1-89.1; 1978, c. 729; 1983, c. 111; 1994, c. 28; 1996, c. 774; 2005, c. 3.

§ 45.1-161.157. (Repealed effective October 1, 2021) Signaling; signal code.

A. Two independent means of signaling shall be provided between the top, bottom, and all intermediate landings of shafts, slopes, and surface inclines and the hoisting station. At least one of these means of signaling shall be audible to the hoisting engineer or other person operating the equipment. Bell cords shall be installed in shafts in such a manner as to prevent unnecessary movement of such cords within the shaft.

B. A uniform signal code approved by the Chief shall be in use at each mine and shall be at the cage station designated by the mine foreman.

Code 1950, § 45-68.4; 1954, c. 191; 1966, c. 594, § 45.1-69; 1978, c. 729; 1994, c. 28.

§ 45.1-161.158. (Repealed effective October 1, 2021) Inspections of hoisting equipment.

A. Before hoisting or lowering miners in a shaft, the hoisting engineer shall operate empty cages up and down each shaft at least one round trip at the beginning of each shift and after the hoist has been idle for one hour or more.

B. Before hoisting or lowering miners in slope and surface incline hoisting, the hoisting engineer shall operate empty cages at least one round trip at the beginning of each shift and after the hoist has been idle for one hour or more.

C. The hoisting engineer, at the time the inspections required by subsections A and B are performed, shall (i) inspect all cable or rope fastenings at all cages, buckets, or slope cars; (ii) inspect hammer locks and pins, thimbles, and clamps; (iii) inspect safety chains on buckets, cage or slope cars; (iv) inspect the braking system for malfunctions; (v) clean all excess oil and extraneous materials from the hoist housing construction; (vi) inspect the overwind, overtravel, and lilly switch or control from stopping at the collar and within 100 feet of the work deck; and (vii) check communications between the top house, work deck and work deck tugger house.

D. Hoisting rope on all cages or trips shall be inspected at the beginning of each shift by the hoisting engineer.

E. A test of safety catches on cages shall be made at least once each month. A written record shall be kept of such tests, and such record shall be available for inspection by interested persons.

F. Hoisting equipment including the headgear, cages, ropes, connections, links and chains, shaft guides, shaft walls, and other facilities shall be inspected daily by an authorized person designated by the operator. Such person shall also inspect all bull wheels and lighting systems on the head frame. Such person shall report immediately to the operator, or his agent, any defects found, and any such defect shall be corrected promptly. The person making such examination shall make a daily permanent record of such inspection, which shall be available for inspection by interested persons. If a hoist is used only during a weekly examination of an escapeway, then the inspection required by this subsection shall only be required to be completed weekly before the examination occurs.

G. Subsections A, B, C, and D shall not apply to automatically operated elevators.

Code 1950, § 45-68.4; 1954, c. 191; 1966, c. 594, §§ 45.1-68, 45.1-69; 1972, c. 784; 1978, c. 729; 1994, c. 28; 1999, c. 256.

§ 45.1-161.159. (Repealed effective October 1, 2021) Hoisting engineers.

A. A certified hoisting engineer shall be either on duty continuously, or available within a reasonable time as determined by the Chief, to provide immediate transportation while any person is underground, where miners are transported into or out of underground areas of a mine by hoists or on surface inclines.

B. When miners are being hoisted or lowered in shafts, slopes, or on surface inclines, the loading and unloading of miners and movement of the cage, car, or trip shall be under the direction of an authorized person.

C. Subsections A and B shall not apply to automatically operated elevators that can be safely operated by any miner; however, a person qualified as an automatic elevator operator shall be available at such elevators within a reasonable time as determined by the Chief.

D. No operator, or his agent, of any mine worked by shaft, slope or incline shall place in charge of any engine or drum used for lowering or hoisting miners any but competent and sober hoisting engineers. No hoisting engineer in charge of such machinery shall allow any person, except such as may be designated for such purpose by the operator, or his agent, to interfere with any part of the machinery. No person shall interfere with or intimidate the hoisting engineer or automatic elevator operator in the discharge of his duties.

Code 1950, §§ 45-7, 45-12, 45-68.4, 45-69, 45-73, 45-75, 45-78, 45-79, 45-81, 45-83; 1950, p. 156; 1954, c. 191; 1966, c. 594, §§ 45.1-21, 45.1-68, 45.1-69; 1972, c. 784; 1976, c. 598; 1978, cc. 222, 489, 729; 1982, c. 255; 1984, cc. 178, 590; 1988, c. 577; 1993, cc. 171, 442; 1994, c. 28; 1999, c. 256.

§ 45.1-161.160. (Repealed effective October 1, 2021) Operations of hoisting equipment.

A. The speed of the cage, car, or trip in shafts, slopes, or on surface inclines shall not exceed 1,000 feet per minute when miners are being hoisted or lowered.

B. When moving the platform or work deck, all miners traveling thereon shall have safety belts secured.

C. No person shall ride on a loaded cage.

D. The number of persons riding in any cage or car at one time shall not exceed the maximum prescribed by the manufacturer. The Chief may prescribe a lesser number when necessary to ensure the safety of miners being transported.

E. Conveyances being lowered into a shaft in which miners are working shall be stopped at least twenty feet above the area where such miners are working.

F. Whenever miners are working at the bottom of a shaft, there shall be an adjustable ladder or chain ladder attached to the work deck to provide an additional means of escape. Such ladder shall be at least twenty feet in length.

G. All chokers and slings used to transport materials within a shaft or slope shall meet specifications established by the United States of America Standards Institute.

Code 1950, § 45-68.4; 1954, c. 191; 1966, c. 594, §§ 45.1-68, 45.1-69; 1972, c. 784; 1978, c. 729; 1994, c. 28; 1996, c. 774.

§ 45.1-161.161. (Repealed effective October 1, 2021) Maintenance of hoisting equipment.

Hoists, ropes, cages, and other hoisting equipment shall be maintained in a safe operating condition. Hoisting ropes shall be replaced as soon as there is evidence of possible failure.

Code 1950, §§ 45-68.4, 45-69.3; 1954, c. 191; 1966, c. 594, §§ 45.1-68, 45.1-72; 1972, c. 784; 1978, c. 729; 1994, c. 28.