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Health and safety issues related to extended longwalls.

Thimons ED; Jankowski RA; Finfinger GL
Proceedings of the 22nd Annual Institute on Coal Mining Health, Safety and Research, Blacksburg, Virginia, August 26-28, 1991. Hugler E, Bacho A, Karmis M, eds. Blacksburg, VA: Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, 1991 Aug; :101-111
Longwall mining has always been associated with high productivity and increased resource recovery. To optimize these benefits, there has been a trend in the industry to increase the size of longwall coal panels. These extended longwall panels, sometimes referred to as "super longwalls," offer some major benefits in terms of fewer panel moves, less entry development, and increased resource recovery. However, the use of extended longwalls does change the mining environment and this may positively or negatively impact health and safety concerns. For example, fewer panel moves could reduce injury rates since more accidents occur during moves than during actual longwall mining. Also, the frequency of accidents in longwall mining is lower than in continuous mining. Since extended longwalls reduce the amount of continuous miner development, accident rates should be lower. On the other hand, extended panels could introduce concerns in the areas of dust, methane, ground control, ventilation, and fire and escape. This U.S. Bureau of Mines paper examines these issues and what some current extended longwall operations are doing in terms of operating changes to address them.
Mine-workers; Miners; Mining-industry; Mineral-processing; Longwall-mining; Respirable-dust; Dust-control; Dust-exposure; Dust-control-equipment; Dust-suppression; Underground-miners; Underground-mining; Coal-miners; Coal-mining; Accident-analysis; Accident-prevention; Accident-rates; Methane-control; Ventilation; Ventilation-systems; Ventilation-equipment; Ground-control; Ground-stability
Publication Date
Document Type
Conference/Symposia Proceedings
Hugler E; Bacho A; Karmis M
Fiscal Year
NIOSH Division
Source Name
Proceedings of the 22nd Annual Institute on Coal Mining Health, Safety and Research, Blacksburg, Virginia, August 26-28, 1991
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division