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Mobile Power in British Coal Mines.

Kibble JD
NIOSH 1982 Oct:55-75
The use of diesel equipment in British coal mines was discussed. The forms of transport used in the British coal mining industry were summarized. Rope handling on conventional rail tracks was the most common method used for transporting men and material. A total of 617 diesel powered locomotives were in use in 1976 and 1977. Approximately 80 free steered diesel tractors and underground supply vehicles were in use. During the 1976 to 1977 year, 38 fatal and 515 serious accidents occurred in the industry, yielding incidence rates of 0.07 and 0.98 per 100,000 workers, respectively. Approximately 33 percent of the accidents involved transport vehicles, usually derailments and runaways. None of the accidents were the result of diesel emissions. Safety requirements for using diesel equipment in underground mines was discussed. The types of diesel equipment used in British coal mines were discussed with reference to the safety requirements and problems associated with operating them. Problems associated with diesel engines included gaseous emissions, heat, moisture, noise, the high cost of installing the engines and equipping them with required safety features, and the heavy maintenance requirement. The high cost and heavy maintenance requirements were regarded as the most serious problems and were considered likely to limit the use of diesel equipment in British mines. Research programs on developing and improving diesel engines were discussed. Alternative power sources that could be used in British mines were considered. The author concludes that diesel engines lead the field as a source of mobile power in British coal mines. Further development of diesel engines is expected in the future. The main impetus for improving diesel engines is to reduce their bulkiness and difficult maintenance requirements rather than fears of health hazards. A transcript of a question and answer session was included.
Coal-mining; Mining-equipment; Underground-mining; Occupational-health; Industrial-safety; Occupational-accidents; Diesel-exhausts; Regulations
Publication Date
Document Type
Conference/Symposia Proceedings
Fiscal Year
Identifying No.
DHHS (NIOSH) Publication No. 82-122
Source Name
Proceedings of a Workshop on the Use of Diesel Equipment in Underground Coal Mines, Morgantown, West Virgina, September 19-23, 1977; Morgantown, West Virginia, NIOSH
Page last reviewed: February 18, 2022
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division