Mining Publication: Reducing the Risk of Ground Falls During Pillar Recovery
Pillar recovery has been associated with nearly one-third of roof fall fatalities in underground coal mines during the past decade. Safe pillar recovery requires global stability and local stability. Global stability is addressed primarily through pillar design. The local stability risk factors include cut sequence, the final pillar stump, supplemental supports (timbers versus mobile roof supports), roof bolting, and many others. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health evaluated each of these factors through field research and analysis of accident statistics. This paper discusses design methods and technologies that have been transferred to the mining community and implemented.