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Reducing rock fall injuries in underground U.S. coal mines.
Robertson-SB; Molinda-GM; Pappas-DM; Mark-C
31st International Conference of Safety in Mines Research Institutes, 2-5 October 2005, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. Redbank, Queensland, Australia: Safety in Mines Testing and Research Station (Simtars), 2005 Oct; :228-232
A continuing risk to U.S. underground coal miners is rocks falling from the mine roof. Almost 99% of injuries caused by rock falls are not from a major roof collapse, but from smaller rocks that fall from between roof bolts. Installing roof screen provides excellent overhead roof coverage and dramatically reduces the potential for rock fall injuries, especially to roof bolter operators. NIOSH has explored different installation techniques and roof screening options, along with machine design innovations that make roof screening easier and safer. Applying ergonomic principles to roof screening will offer insight and direction for better material handling. Other techniques for controlling rock falls and roof falls for long-term stability include the application of surface support liners and polyurethane (PUR) injection. An ongoing study at NIOSH's Lake Lynn Laboratory of various types of spray-on liner and shotcrete materials is providing a unique opportunity to evaluate the long-term behavior of liners in an underground environment. In-mine studies of PUR have involved pre- and postinjection core drilling and video borescope logging. The results have provided insights into how PUR penetrates and reinforces weak and highly fractured rock.
Mining-industry; Ground-control; Rock-falls; Underground-mining; Underground-miners; Coal-mining; Coal-miners; Injuries; Safety-research; Hazards; Materials-handling; Ergonomics
NIOSH Pittsburgh Reserach Laboratory, P.O. Box 18070, Pittsburgh, PA 15236
31st International Conference of Safety in Mines Research Institutes, 2-5 October 2005, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division