Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 45.2. Mines, Minerals, and Energy
Chapter 9. Requirements Applicable to Surface Coal Mines
9/29/2022

Article 11. Ground Control.

§ 45.2-934. Ground control.

A. Every surface coal mining operation shall establish and follow a ground control plan approved by the Chief to ensure the safety of workers and others affected by the operation. The ground control plan shall be consistent with prudent engineering design. Mining methods, including benching, shall ensure wall and bank stability in order to obtain a safe overall slope. The ground control plan shall also ensure the safety of every person who is (i) located in a residence or other occupied building; (ii) working or traveling on any roadway; or (iii) located in any other area where persons congregate, work, or travel that could be affected by blasting or by the falling, sliding, or other uncontrolled movement of material. The ground control plan shall identify how residents or occupants of other buildings located down the slope from active workings will be notified when ground-disturbing activities will take place above them and what actions will be taken to protect such residents or occupants from ground control failures during the work.

B. Scaling and removal of loose hazardous material from the top of a pit or from a highwall, wall, bank, or bench shall be completed to ensure a safe work area.

C. Employees and other persons, except those involved in correction of the condition, shall be restricted from any area where hazardous highwall or pit conditions exist.

D. Unless he is required for the purpose of making repairs, no person shall be allowed in any area that is located between equipment and a highwall, wall, bank, or bench if the equipment could hinder escape from falling or sliding material. Special precautions shall be taken when any person is required to perform such repairs.

1994, c. 28, § 45.1-161.287; 2005, c. 3; 2021, Sp. Sess. I, c. 387.