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Mining Project: Improving Coal Dust Explosion Hazard Assessment Strategies

Project DetailValue
Principal Investigators
  • Marcia L. Harris, NIOSH, 412-386-5780
Start Date10/1/2010
Purpose

This research project seeks to eliminate disasters from dust explosions within coal mines through improved explosive coal dust sampling, analysis protocols, and better education of MSHA inspectors and the mining workforce.

Program Area
Keywordsexplosions, underground mining

Research Summary

This project seeks to eliminate mine disasters from dust explosions within coal mines through improved dust sampling, analysis protocols, and better education of inspectors and the mining workforce. This planned research falls under Strategic Goal 5: Reduce the risk of mine disasters (fires, explosions, and inundations).

Following are several factors in sampling methodology and rock dust quality that need to be addressed through research to prevent coal dust explosions:

(1) Sampling Methodology
a. Dust sample spacing relative to propagation potentials
b. Roof and rib mesh influence
c. Floor dust sampling depth influence
d. Dust sample moisture content determination
e. Implementation of the CDEM.

(2) Rock Dust Quality Specifications
a. Industrial rock dust particle size variability
b. Variability in rock dust composition.

The NIOSH Mining program under the Office of Mine Safety and Health Research activities are guided by the 1977 Mine Act and the 2006 MINER Act. The project will produce recommendations on changes to current practices and regulations regarding coal/rock dust sampling methods for compliance assessment and materials specifications for rock dust. These recommendations will results in changes in practices to improve compliance evaluations and enable regulators and mine operators to reduce the risk of the occurrence of explosible dust concentrations in underground coal mines.

 

 

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