Code of Virginia

Code of Virginia
Title 45.1. Mines and Mining
6/25/2019

Article 12. Auger and Highwall Mining.

§ 45.1-161.288. Inspection of electric equipment and wiring; checking and testing methane monitors.

Electric equipment and wiring that extend to underground areas shall be inspected by a certified person at least once a week and more often if necessary to assure safe operating conditions, and any hazardous condition found shall be corrected or the equipment or wiring shall be removed from service. This surface inspection is required for trailing cables and circuit breakers used in conjunction with such equipment and wiring.

1966, c. 594, § 45.1-85; 1978, c. 118; 1993, c. 442; 1994, c. 28; 2005, c. 3; 2011, cc. 826, 862.

§ 45.1-161.289. Highwall inspections.

A. The face of all highwalls, for a distance of 25 feet in both directions from an auger or highwall miner operation, shall be inspected by a mine foreman before any such operation begins and at least once during each coal producing shift.

B. Mine foreman shall examine the face of all highwalls for a distance of 25 feet in both directions from auger or highwall miner operations frequently during periods of heavy rainfall or intermittent freezing-thawing.

C. Hazardous conditions shall be corrected and loose material removed from above the mining area before any work is begun.

D. Records shall be kept of the inspection compiled pursuant to subsections A and B. Such records shall be maintained for one year.

1994, c. 28; 2011, cc. 826, 862.

§ 45.1-161.290. Penetration of underground mines; testing.

A. A qualified person shall test for methane and deficiency of oxygen using an approved device at the entrance to an auger hole or highwall miner entry when either penetrates a worked-out area of an underground mine.

B. If one percent or more of methane is detected or 19.5 percent or less of oxygen is found to exist no further work shall be performed until the atmosphere has been made safe.

1994, c. 28; 1999, c. 256; 2011, cc. 826, 862.

§ 45.1-161.291. Safety precautions.

A. No person shall enter an auger hole or highwall miner entry without prior approval from the Chief.

B. Auger holes and highwall miner entries shall be blocked with highwall spoil or other suitable material before abandoned.

C. Auger and highwall mining machines which are exposed to highwall and explosion hazards shall be provided with worker protection from falling material and mine explosions.

D. At least one person shall be assigned to observe the highwall for possible movement while ground personnel are working in high risk areas in close proximity to the highwall.

E. Persons shall stay clear of any moving auger or highwall miner train and no persons shall pass over or under a moving train unless adequate crossing facilities are provided.

F. The ground control plan shall specify spacing of holes, web design, and alignment control devices.

G. The ground control plan shall include other administrative, engineering, and source controls provided for safe operations.

1994, c. 28; 2011, cc. 826, 862.

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

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