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Mobile roof support safety research - an update.

Owens-J; Howie-W
Proceedings of the 30th Annual Institute on Mining Health, Safety and Research, Salt Lake City, Utah, August 8-11, 1999. Jenkins FM; Langton J; McCarter MK; Rowe B, eds., Blacksburg, VA: Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, 1999 Aug; :101-113
Initial studies of the effectiveness and safety of mobile roof supports (MRSs) by researchers at the Spokane Research Laboratory of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health focused on the mechanics of the interaction of MRSs and mine strata and evaluation of suitable measurements for detecting roof stability problems during pillar extraction. These studies indicated that overall stress distributions and strata movement were most influenced by the stiffness of coal-measure rocks and the design of mining layouts, but that MRSs played a critical role in controlling the stability of immediate and middle roof strata. Pillar failure was often associated with an increase in pressure on the hydraulic gauges of the MRS, and roof failure was often preceded by rapid changes in the rate of roof-floor convergence. A reliable warning system can be developed by combining both convergence and load rate data to alert miners to roof instabilities within active mining areas. These studies led the authors to develop a monitoring system that displays the loading rate on an MRS in real time. With the cooperation of a major MRS manufacturer, the system was installed and tested on an MRS in the laboratory. New field studies focus on evaluating the performance of the load-rate monitoring system, measuring roof-floor convergence rates, and optimizing the safety of MRS operations through proper layout design.
Accident-prevention; Accident-analysis; Accident-rates; Mine-workers; Miners; Mining-industry; Injury-prevention; Safety-equipment; Safety-measures; Safety-monitoring; Safety-programs; Safety-practices; Underground-mining; Underground-miners; Monitoring-systems; Room-and-pillar-mining; Statistical-analysis
Publication Date
Document Type
Conference/Symposia Proceedings
Jenkins-FM; Langton-J; McCarter-MK; Rowe-B
Fiscal Year
NIOSH Division
Source Name
Proceedings of the 30th Annual Institute on Mining Health, Safety and Research, Salt Lake City, Utah, August 8-11, 1999
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division