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Human factors analysis of the hazards associated with roof drilling and bolt installation procedures.

Bureau of Mines
Pittsburgh, PA: U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Mines, 1994 Jul; :1-30
At the request of the West Virginia Board of Coal Mine Health and Safety, the U. S. Bureau of Mines (USBM) initiated a study of human factors issues related to roof bolting in underground coal mines. The objective of the study was to determine what hazards may be associated with roof bolting and recommend solutions to those hazards. The study focused on hazards that exist during the roof drilling and bolt installation procedures. Particular emphasis was placed on hazards associated with the fast feed lever and movement of the drill head boom or mast. Five major categories of information collection were used to understand the types of accidents and injuries that can occur when drilling and installing bolts: (1) detailed analysis of the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) and West Virginia University (WVU) accident databases and 16 roof bolter fatal reports, (2) visits to three underground mines and interviews with 10 roof bolter operators, (3) discussions with manufacturers of roof bolting equipment, (4) interviews with three miners who have been injured during roof bolter operations, and (5) reviews of past research on roof bolter safety. Based on the information collected, the USBM decided that the primary goal of any intervention should focus on reducing the number of accidents caused by the roof bolter operator being crushed by the boom or mast of the machine. To achieve that goal, the USBM developed a list of seven solutions which were then ranked based on their ability to protect the operator, the time needed to develop and carry out the solution, and cost. The solutions, ranked in descending order of importance, are: 1. Use an interlock device to cut off power to the controls when the operator is out of position. 2. Provide fixed barriers at pinch points and other dangerous areas. 3. Provide better control guarding. 4. Reduce the speed of the fast feed. 5. Use automatic cutoff switches for pinch points and dangerous areas. 6. Redesign the control bank to conform to accepted ergonomic principles. 7. Use resin insertion tools and resin cartridge retainers. In addition, the USBM developed the following additional recommendations that have potential to increase the general safety of the roof bolting operation. 1. Perform an overall crew station redesign with a greater emphasis on operator reach and visibility requirements. 2. Position personal protective equipment so it is less likely to bump or become tangled in the controls. 3. Reduce the likelihood of the drill steel jamming through better maintenance and drill shaft designs.
Mining-industry; Ground-control; Underground-mining; Accident-prevention; Injury-prevention; Control-technology; Coal-mining; Mining-equipment; Machine-guarding
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Pittsburgh, PA: U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Mines
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division