NIOSHTIC-2 Publications Search
50 Years of rock mechanics research (1955-2005): the effect on safety in U.S. underground mines.
Jenkins-FM; Conway-GA; Dwyer-JG; Signer-SP
Golden Rocks 2006, Proceedings of the 41st U.S. Rock Mechanics Symposium, Golden, Colorado, June 17-21, 2006. Alexandria, VA: American Rock Mechanics Association, Paper No. 06-1177, 2006 Jun; :1-13
Over the last 50 years there has been a dramatic reduction in the number of fatalities attributed to ground falls in U.S. underground mines. There are a number of technological, political, and societal factors that together are responsible for these reductions, not the least of which are the advancements in the science and application of rock mechanics and resulting support technologies. From 1910 to 1995, the U.S. Bureau of Mines (USBM) performed a wide-ranging program of research that included a large number of rock mechanics research projects. After the USBM was abolished in 1995, select research functions with the specific goal of improving mine safety and health were transferred to NIOSH. This paper highlights some of the improvements in mine safety resulting from developments in the field of rock mechanics and rock engineering by the USBM, NIOSH, and others during the last 50 years. The effective application of new technologies generally evolves over relatively long periods of time. This paper offers some examples of where the application of improved rock engineering and support methods have resulted in discernible improvements in mine safety in underground coal, industrial mineral, and metal mines over the last 5 decades. Prospective directions for the NIOSH ground control research program are also included.
Mining-industry; Underground-mining; Ground-control; Safety-research; Injuries; Hazards; Rock-mechanics; Engineering; Rock-falls; Coal-mining; Mining-equipment; Longwall-mining; Accidents; Metal-mining; Nonmetal-mining; Gold-mines
NIOSH Spokane Research Laboratory, 315 East Montgomery Ave., Spokane, WA 99207
Yale-DP; Holtz-SC; Breeds-C; Ozbay-U
Golden Rocks 2006, Proceedings of the 41st U.S. Rock Mechanics Symposium, Golden, Colorado, June 17-21, 2006
WA; IL; WV; ID; MO; NV; CO
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division