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
10/4/2022

Article 2. Work Area Examinations, Recordkeeping, and Reporting.

§ 45.2-903. Safety examinations.

A. An on-shift examination of the work area, including any pit, auger, thin seam, or highwall operation, shall be conducted by a certified person for each production shift and at such other times or frequency as the Chief designates as necessary for hazardous conditions.

B. A pre-operational examination of all mobile equipment shall be conducted by an authorized person.

C. A pre-shift examination shall be conducted by a certified person for certain hazardous conditions designated by the Chief.

D. Each mine refuse pile, as defined in § 45.2-617, shall be examined by an authorized person on each day on which any person works at such location.

E. The location of each natural gas pipeline on a permitted surface mine area shall be identified and conspicuously marked so that equipment operators can readily identify the location of such pipeline. A pre-shift examination shall be conducted of the location of each pipeline whenever the work area approaches within 500 feet of such pipeline unless otherwise approved by the Chief.

F. An air quality examination shall be conducted by a certified person when a surface coal mining operation intersects an underground mine, auger hole, or other underground working.

G. At least one examination for methane shall be conducted for each production shift in each surface installation, enclosure, or other facility in which coal is handled or stored. Each such area shall also be tested for methane before any activity involving welding, cutting, or an open flame. An examination conducted 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 per month.

I. Each fire extinguisher shall be examined at least once every six months.

J. Each area of an inactive surface coal mine shall be examined for hazardous conditions by a mine foreman immediately before any miner is permitted to enter into such area 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, § 45.1-161.256; 1996, c. 774; 1999, c. 256; 2005, c. 3; 2021, Sp. Sess. I, c. 387.

§ 45.2-904. Records of examinations.

A. Documentation of examinations and testing conducted pursuant to § 45.2-903 shall be recorded in a mine record book provided for that purpose. Documentation shall include records of 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 each extinguisher.

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

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

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

E. All records of inspections shall be open for inspection by any interested person 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, § 45.1-161.257; 1996, c. 774; 1999, c. 256; 2005, c. 3; 2007, cc. 894, 914; 2021, Sp. Sess. I, c. 387.

§ 45.2-905. 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 the 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 any hazardous condition 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, § 45.1-161.258; 1996, c. 774; 1999, c. 256; 2015, cc. 103, 397; 2021, Sp. Sess. I, c. 387.