Code of Virginia

Code of Virginia
Title 45.1. Mines and Mining
11/18/2019

Article 2. Work Area Examinations, Record Keeping and Reporting.

§ 45.1-161.256. Safety examinations.

A. On-shift examinations of the work area including pit, auger, thin seam and highwall operations shall be conducted by certified persons once every production shift and at such other times or frequency as the Chief designates necessary for hazardous conditions.

B. Pre-operational examinations of all mobile equipment shall be conducted by an authorized person.

C. Pre-shift examinations shall be conducted by a certified person for certain hazardous conditions designated by the Chief.

D. Mine refuse piles shall be examined daily by an authorized person on any day on which a person works at such location.

E. The location of all natural gas pipelines on permitted surface mine areas shall be identified and conspicuously marked so that equipment operators can readily see such lines. Pre-shift examinations shall be conducted of the location of pipelines whenever the work area approaches within 500 feet unless otherwise approved by the Chief.

F. Air quality examinations shall be conducted by a certified person when a surface coal mining operation intersects an underground mine, auger hole or other underground workings.

G. Examinations for methane shall be conducted in surface installations, enclosures or other facilities in which coal is handled or stored once each production shift. Such areas shall also be tested for methane before any activity involving welding, cutting or an open flame. Examinations pursuant to this subsection shall be made by an authorized person certified to make gas tests.

H. Electrical equipment and wiring shall be inspected as often as necessary but at least once a month.

I. Fire extinguishers shall be examined at least once every six months.

J. Areas of inactive surface coal mines shall be examined for hazardous conditions by a mine foreman immediately before miners are permitted to enter into such areas to take emergency actions to preserve a mine.

Code 1950, §§ 45-32, 45-33, 45-60.4, 45-61, 45-68.1, 45-69.7; 1954, c. 191; 1966, c. 594, §§ 45.1-20, 45.1-42, 45.1-65; 1976, c. 598; 1978, cc. 118, 120; 1982, c. 385; 1994, c. 28; 1996, c. 774; 1999, c. 256; 2005, c. 3.

§ 45.1-161.257. Records of examinations.

A. Documentation of examinations and testing conducted pursuant to § 45.1-161.256 shall be recorded in a mine record book provided for that purpose. Documentation shall include hazardous conditions found in the work area. However, examinations of fire extinguishers shall be conducted by an authorized person and documentation shall be accomplished by recording the date of the examination on a permanent tag attached to the extinguisher.

B. The actual methane readings taken during examinations required under this Act shall be recorded in the mine record book.

C. The surface foreman shall maintain and sign a daily record book. Where such reports disclose hazardous conditions, the surface foreman shall take prompt action to have such conditions corrected, barricaded, or posted with warning signs.

D. Records shall be countersigned by the supervisor of the examiner creating the records. Where such records disclose hazardous conditions, the countersigning of the records shall be performed no later than the end of the next regularly scheduled working shift following the shift for which the examination records were completed, and the person countersigning shall ensure that actions to eliminate or control the hazardous conditions have been taken. Where such records do not disclose hazardous conditions, the countersigning may be completed within 24 hours following the end of the shift for which the examination records were completed. The operator may authorize another person with equivalent authority of the supervisor to act in the supervisor's temporary absence to read and countersign the records and ensure that action is taken to eliminate the hazardous conditions disclosed in the records.

E. All records of inspections shall be open for inspection by interested persons and maintained at the mine site for a minimum of one year.

Code 1950, §§ 45-32, 45-33, 45-60.4, 45-61, 45-68.1, 45-69.7; 1954, c. 191; 1966, c. 594, §§ 45.1-20, 45.1-42, 45.1-65; 1976, c. 598; 1978, cc. 118, 120; 1982, c. 385; 1994, c. 28; 1996, c. 774; 1999, c. 256; 2005, c. 3; 2007, cc. 894, 914.

§ 45.1-161.258. Areas with safety or health hazards; duties of surface mine foreman.

A. Any hazardous condition shall be corrected promptly or the affected area shall be barricaded or posted with warning signs specifying the hazard and proper safety procedures. Any imminent danger that cannot be removed within a reasonable time shall be reported to the Chief by the quickest available means.

B. The surface mine foreman shall see that the requirements of this Act pertaining to his duties and to the health and safety of the miners are fully complied with at all times.

C. The surface mine foreman shall see that every miner employed to work at the mine, before beginning work therein, is aware of all hazardous conditions incident to his work at the mine.

Code 1950, §§ 45-7, 45-12, 45-14.1, 45-35, 45-40, 45-61, 45-68.1, 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, §§ 45.1-17, 45.1-21, 45.1-42, 45.1-89; 1974, c. 323; 1976, c. 598; 1978, cc. 118, 222, 489, 729; 1982, c. 255; 1984, cc. 178, 590; 1985, c. 500; 1988, c. 577; 1993, cc. 170, 171, 442; 1994, c. 28; 1996, c. 774; 1999, c. 256; 2015, cc. 103, 397.

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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