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High production continuous miners operating in 34-120 inch coal seams.

Page-SJ; Volkwein-JC
Proceedings of the 19th Annual Institute on Coal Mining Health, Safety and Research, Blacksburg, Virginia, August 23-25, 1988. Faulkner G, Sutherland WH,Forshey DR Karmis M, eds., Blacksburg, VA: Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, 1988 Aug; :55-65
The U.S. Department of Interior's Bureau of Mines has the opportunity to visit many U.S. mines, including some that claim 2 to 5 times the national average of 334 raw tonnes/unit shift (tps) from a continuous miner section. In a project designed to assess the reasons for this high production, the Bureau conducted two studies. The first study focused on the 25 highest-producing continuous miner sections. What stood out during the visits was the quality of the labor-management relations. In each of the mines there was a positive labor/management relationship based on mutual trust and a sense that the employees were the company's most valuable resource. Discussions with labor revealed a universally positive attitude toward the company. Interviews with the mine superin­tendents invariably ranked the quality and attitude of workers as more important than anything else. Also during the mine visits of the 25-mine study, no engineering factors obviously stood out. Time at the face was greater than average, most operations were in coal over 1.52 m thick, the roof was generally good. Also. none of the 25 mines had to contend with high methane levels. Because this study found that a high percentage of mines were in seams less than 1.52 m thick, the second study examined thin-seam mines only. In the thin-seam study, the U.S. Bureau of Mines visited continuous miner sections in seams of 1.22 m or less and which exceeded an average production of 334 tps. Ten mines were found where average shift productions ranged from 435 to 1452 tps and averaged 781 tps. Many similarities were found between these thin seam mines and the 25-mine study. The same positive labor/management relationship existed that was seen in the original study. Outside of the set height restriction in this study, the Bureau observed the same factors, with one exception. Technological factors appeared to play a more impor­tant role in thin-seam operations.
Mine-workers; Miners; Mining-industry; Underground-mining; Underground-miners; Coal-workers; Coal-miners; Coal-mining; Monitoring-systems
Publication Date
Document Type
Conference/Symposia Proceedings
Faulkner-G; Sutherland-WH; Forshey-DR; Karmis-M
Fiscal Year
NIOSH Division
Source Name
Proceedings of the 19th Annual Institute on Coal Mining Health, Safety and Research, Blacksburg, Virginia, August 23-25, 1988
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division