Mining Publication: Major Hazard Risk Assessment Applied to Pillar Recovery Operations
Recent fatal injuries occurring during pillar retreat coal mining call for better identification of the hazards and recognition of risks. Ground control hazards associated with room-and-pillar retreat mining tend to intensify with depth, requiring extra precautions in the form of additional controls. In many locations these activities are further complicated by local complexities often associated with unique or novel circumstances, such as over-mining or under-mining. One technique recently studied by NIOSH, Major Hazard Risk Assessment (MHRA), may help mine operators to mitigate the risks associated with pillar recovery operations. This paper documents the process as it unfolded at the two mines, and analyzes the strengths and weaknesses of the MHRA technique as it applies to pillar recovery operations.