MSHA announces final rule for high-voltage continuous mining machines
The Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) has announced the publication of a final rule in the Federal Register revising the agency’s electrical design requirements for the approval of high-voltage continuous mining machines. The rule also establishes additional safety standards to address the machines’ installation, use and maintenance in underground coal mines.
MSHA’s existing standards do not address high-voltage continuous mining machines. Although this equipment has been used in underground coal mines since the late 1990s, mine operators must submit a petition for modification to use it.
Since 1997, MSHA has granted 52 PFMs – with specific conditions – to allow mine operators to use high-voltage continuous mining machines underground. Currently, there are 27 high-voltage continuous mining machines operating under PFMs in eight underground mines. Significant improvements in the design and manufacturing technology of high-voltage components provide for the use of high-voltage continuous mining machines with enhanced safety protection against fires, explosions and shock hazards.
“Compliance with this regulation will reduce the potential for electrical-related fatalities and injuries associated with high voltage continuous mining machine use,” said Joseph A. Main, assistant secretary of labor for mine safety and health, in a written statement. “It also will reduce the need to file a petition for modification.”
Key features of the final rule include the following:
· Provides for MSHA approval of high-voltage continuous mining machines, including better design and construction criteria and improved ground-fault protection. Approval ensures that the systems will not introduce an ignition hazard when operated in potentially explosive atmospheres.
· Establishes mandatory electrical safety standards for proper installation of high-voltage continuous mining machines, electrical and mechanical protection of equipment, handling trailing cables and performing electrical work.
· Preserves safety and health protections for miners while facilitating the use of advanced equipment designs.
· Greater protection against electrical shock, cable overheating, fire hazards, and back injuries and other sprains caused by handling trailing cables.
· Increased safety requirements to eliminate or minimize unsafe work and repair practices, such as handling lighter cables.
From our partners
MORE FROM Aggbeat Online
SUBSCRIBE & FOLLOW
- MSHA issues citations to five metal/non-metal mines during impact inspections in February436 Views
- Holcim shareholders threaten merger plans with Lafarge…again288 Views
- California woman killed when gravel truck tips over on her car209 Views
- Caterpillar intros 735C, 740C EJ, 745C articulated trucks with bevy of powertrain improvements (PHOTOS)182 Views
- Senate rejects amendment seeking to fund infrastructure by closing corporate tax loophole152 Views