Mining Product: Roof Screening: Best Practices and Roof Bolting Machines
Many injuries are caused each year by rock falls in coal mines. Most of these injuries are not caused by major roof collapses, but from falls of smaller rocks from the immediate top or roof skin. Various surface controls are used in mines to control this surface rock. One that has been found to be very effective is roof screening. Depending on the size of the screen, roof coverage approaching 100% can be achieved. Many mines are reluctant to use screen for primary skin control because of additional costs of time and materials, but others are having great success at both controlling costs and surface rock. Data is presented from two mines that show a dramatic reduction in roof skin injuries when screening is used. Much of this success is due to innovations in roof bolting machines. Four case studies of roof screen experience are presented along with associated costs of materials, impact on bolting advance rates, and potential ergonomic risks. The effects of roof screening on skin control and safety are also included. Finally, this paper will provide information about features of different roof bolting machines that affect production and safety.