June 24, 2010
Due to accidents and methane ignitions at highwall miner and auger operations, the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) is providing best practices to aid mine operators in developing sound ground control plans.
• Provide adequate spacing/webbing between holes to reduce potential cut through and increase highwall stability.
• Ventilate to dilute methane or inert with adequate volume of non-combustible gas.
• Use water sprays to suppress float coal dust.
• Monitor for methane and have action levels established.
• Use explosive-proof equipment in by the collar of the hole.
• Employ an alignment process to assure sufficient barriers are maintained.
• Locate gas wells and/or abandoned mines near the mining zone.