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The Centralia Coal Co. is commended for the manner in which it has complied with some recommendations outlined in the last inspection report. The following improvements and safe practices have been established by the company since September 3, 1942.

1. Wooden tamping bars are now being used.

2. Not more than a 24-hour supply of explosives is taken into the mine at any one time,

3. Explosives are kept in locked boxes at all times, except while in use.

4. A careful check with the State department of mines and minerals of the locations for new, old, and abandoned wells, is being made.

5. Combustible litter in the vicinity of the explosives-storage boxes and rockdust barricades, has been removed.

6. The first west-south entry is being examined daily and a record of these inspections is kept in the mine manager's office.

7. The mine examiners now leave their dates and initials in all places examined.

RECOMMENDATIONS Many improvements have been made at this mine since September 1942; how. ever, some of the recommendations made in the last report have not been carried out. These recommendations are indicated with an asterisk (*) in the following list. Other hazards were observed during this inspection, and suggestions for correcting such are also made. It is believed that these safety measures are necessary to prevent accidents at this time.

TIPPLE, SHOPS, LAMP HOL'SE, BINS, AND BATHHOUSE *1. Railroad cars droppers should use safety belts while dropping cars to and from the tipple.

*2. Dust accumulations throughout the tipple should be removed and future accumulations prevented by frequent cleaning.

3. The V-belt from the motor to the shaker drive should be guarded.

*4. All electric motors used in the tipple and cleaning plant should be of the dustproof type, and the switches and controls should be enclosed.

*5. All belts, gears, sprockets, and flywheels should be properly guarded.

*6. Naphtha used for permissible safety lamps, should be kept in an approved container.

*7. The wooden coal-storage bin should be made fire-resistant, or fire doors should be installed at the shaft.

*8. The wash house should be provided with at least two exits. A disinfectant foot bath should be provided, and the disinfectant changed daily.

HOISTING EQUIPMENT AND SHAFTS *1. The shafts should be lined with some incombustible material to elminiate the fire hazard at all seasons of the year.

#2. The hoisting engineers should undergo a physical examination at least annually, and a report of such examinations should be kept.

*3. Records should be kept of the inspections of the ropes and sheave wheels.

*4. Cages used for hoisting and lowering men should be provided with gates or chains across the ends and the sides should be enclosed. The safety catches should be tested at least every 2 months, and a record kept of such tests.

*5. When hoisting or lowering men, movable parts of the cages should be locked.

*6. A signaling device should be installed at the ground landing, and so arranged that signals can be given to the engineer from the cages.

SYSTEM OF CHECKING MEN INTO AND OUT OF THE MINE *1. There should be a positive method of checking employees in and out of the mine of identifying every individual underground.

TIMBERING *1. A set of timbering rules should be formulated, posted, and strictly enforced. Temporary cross bars should be set as closs as possible to the face of all working

places. While coal is being loaded out, temporary safety posts should be set between the last cross bar and the face of the solid coal to afford full protection to the workman at all times.

*2. There should be an adequate supply of cap pieces, suitable size, available in all working places.

*3. All officials and miners should use testing bars when testing the roof, and miners should be taught the vibration method of testing the roof.

*4. Goggles should be provided and men required to wear them when doing: work where particles are likely to fly.


*1. A barricade should be provided on all sides for the explosives-storage magazine, and the open space between the walls should be filled with sand or gravel. Explosives and detonator distributing magazines should be provided.

2. Danger signs should be posted in such position that a bullet passing through will not enter the magazine and the door should be provided with two 5-tumbler padlocks.

*3. Dry grass and brush should be kept clean for at least 50 feet from the explosives-storage magazine and screened ventilators should be provided.

*4. Examinations for explosive gas should be made before and after shooting, and fire runs should be made after blasting.

*5. Shots should be fired singly.

*6. Electric detonators of proper strength should be used and they should be. fired with a permissible shot-firing device.


*1. The fan should be installed on the surface, and operated exhausting.

*2. The fan house should be constructed of incombustible material, offset at least 25 feet from the line of the opening, and provided with pressure-relief or explosion doors.

*3. The ventilation should be increased by cleaning up falls in the air courses, tightening stoppings, and erecting doors in pairs to form air locks, particul irly in 20 south off 4 west.

*4. The air in working places and travelingways should be increased in volume until it contains at least 20 percent oxygen, and not more than 0.5 percent carbon dioxide.

*5. The quantity of air reaching the last open crosscut in any pair of working entries, or the maximum inby point of a split, should be at least 6,000 cubic feet per minute.

*6. All entries, rooms, or sections that cannot be well ventilated and inspected, or that are not being used for coursing the air, should be sealed by strong fireproof stoppings and provided with some means of bleeding off the gas into the return.

*7. Crosscuts should be turned at 60-foot intervals in all working places, and line brattice should be used to conduct the air to the faces when necessary.

*8. All hauling and hoisting should be on the intake air. *9. Stoppings in all entries should be constructed of incombustible material.

*10. Stoppings in rooms should be of gob wall or tight board, plastered or united, except that canvas may be used in the last open crosscut in connection with line brattice.

*11. A split ventilation system utilizing air crossings, should be used instead of doors for conducting ventilation in all main passageways.

*12. Where doors are used in connection with coursing the air in any one split, or if used in lieu of a split ventilation system, they should be installed in pairs to form air locks, be self-closing, and should not be provided with latches to hold them open.

*13. Places should not be worked on an air current that has passed through abandoned workings that cannot be inspected.

*14. The mine should be classed as gassy and should be operated as such. *15. All underground employees should use permissible electric cap lamps.

*16. When new mining equipment is purchased, consideration should be given to the purchase of permissible equipment, where operations are on other than pure intake air.

*17. Mine examiners should not use locomotives on inspections, *18. Smoking anywhere underground should be prohibited.




*1. Dust accumulations along the haulage roads and in rooms should be loaded into cars and removed from the mine.

*2. Arrangements should be made to wet and allay coal dust at its source during cutting, drilling, blasting, loading, and transportation operations.

*3. A program of rock-dusting should be adopted, and the mine should be rock-dusted in all open places to within 40 feet of the working faces. The rock dust should be distributed on the top, bottom, and sides, and maintained in such quantity that the incombustible content of the resulting dust will be not less than 65 percent.


*1. A positive stop block should be provided at the ground landing to prevent cars from running into the shaft.

*2. Track switches should be provided with parallel throws and the bars extending from the track to the switch throws should be installed in such a manner as to eliminate stambling hazards.

*3. Frogs, switches, and guardrails should be blocked.

*4. All haulage roads underground should be cleaned of spillage coal, dust, and debris.

*5. On all haulage roads, there should be a continuous clearance on the side opposite the trolley wire of at least 30 inches from the obstruction to the farthest projection of any moving equipment.

*6. On the trolley-wire side on the haulage roads, there should be a continuous clearance of at least 12 inches.

*7. Shelter holes should be provided along all haulageways, suitably marked, not over 60 feet apart on the clearance side, and kept clean and free from obstructions.

*8. Pushing of cars should be eliminated insofar as possible; no trips should be pushed on main haulageways, except at partings or in an emergency.

*9. Trip riders should be prohibited from riding the front bumpers of pushed trips, and from jumping off and on while trips are in motion.

*10. An efficient trip light should be placed on rear end of all trips pulled, and on the front end of cars being pushed.

*11. Locomotives should be equipped with gongs and suitable rerailers, jacks, or other necessary tools for rerailing cars or locomotives.

*12. Enough cars should be provided on man-trips to permit all men to ride on the opposite side of the trolley wires, and man-trips should come to a full stop before men load or unload.


*1. A guard should be provided in front of the 2,300-volt switchboard in the power house.

*2. The underground substation should be provided with fire doors, arranged to close automatically in case of fire.

*3. Telephones should be equipped with fuses and ground connections, and telephone wires should be installed on the opposite side from the power wires.

*4. Nips on cutting machine, loading machine, drill, and locomotive cables should be equipped with fuses.

*5. Trolley wires should be sectionalized at man-trip loading and unloading stations and the power cut off while men are loading or unloading from the trip. In addition, the trolley wires should be properly guarded at these stations.

*6. Trolley wires less than 612 feet above the top of the rail should be guarded at all places where men are required to pass under.

*7. The cutter bars of mining machines should be provided with safety chains or other adequate locking dveices.

*8. A record should be kept of all the inspections of mining machines.

*9. Permanent cable splices should be made on the surface or underground repair shop by proper splicing methods.

*10. All electric drills should be equipped with permissible motors, guards over thread bars, and should be properly grounded.

*11. Permanent pump installations should be housed in a room constructed of incombustible material.

*12. Wiring at pump stations should be installed on proper insulators and the frames of pumps should be grounded.

*13. Belts and gears on pumps should be properly guarded, and fuses of ade quate strength should be installed in the pump power circuit.

*14. The loading machines should be provided with proper fuses.


*1. Adequate fire-fighting equipment should be located at the shaft bottom and available at all times for transportation to the various parts of the mine.

*2. Bags of rock dust should be provided on each side of all doors and fire extinguishers and bags of rock dust should be provided on each working section. Suitable fire extinguishers for electrical fires should be provided.

*3. At least four all-service gas masks should be provided for protection to those who may be engaged in fighting a fire.

*4. Not more than 2 days' supply of each kind of oil and grease should be stored at any one location in the mine at any one time, and the storage places should be of fireproof construction. Oil taken into the working sections should be in closed metallic containers.


*1. All employees should wear protective hats while on duty in all parts of the mine and also in work around the mine where there is danger from falling objects; all employees should wear safety-toe shoes. Goggles should be worn when work is being done where particles are likely to fly.

*2. Escapeways should have incombustible walls and lining and should be free from fire hazards from the surface to the bottom.

*3. Face bosses should be provided with permissible flame safety lamps.


*1. All employees should be given a course in first-aid training annually.

*2. A selected number of men should be trained in mine-rescue work; at least 12 men for any mine employing more than 100 men should be trained.


*1. A safety inspector should be employed and should have no other duties to perform other than looking after the safety of the employees.

*2. A safety organization of officials and employees should be established and joint safety meetings of men and officials should be held at least monthly.

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ACKNOWLEDGMENT The inspectors were afforded cooperation by company officials in conducting the inspection and data requested were given promptly and fully. Respectfully submitted.


Coal Mine Inspector, W. A. GALLAGHER,

Coal Mine Inspector. Approved :

Chief, Coal Mine Inspection Division.

Chief, Health and Safety Service.


(U. S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Mines)

REINSPECTION No. 1 Company: Centralia Coal Co., Mine No. 5. Location: Centralia, Washington County, Ill. Date of inspection : September 20-22, 1943. Inspectors: W. A. Gallagher and

F. J. Shilling.

The facts disclosed by the inspection of this mine, including both commendable conditions and practices and those which should be given corrective measures, will be embodied in a detailed report to be made available to the public in accordance with the Federal Coal Mine Inspection and Investigation Act of 1941, H. R. 2082.

The purpose of this preliminary report is to point out good features as well as certain unsafe practices and conditions that should be corrected promptly.


The volume of air measured at the intake was 56,320 cubic feet a minute, which is sufficient for present needs. The air was measured in all working entries and was found to be sufficient, except in 20 and 21 south off 4 west entry, where it was found to be inadequate due to leaky wooden stoppings, doors erected singly and equipped with latches.

Entry stoppings should be constructed of incombustible material and kept as nearly leakproof as possible.

Doors should be erected in pairs to form air locks, but in no event should they be provided with latches.

A minimum of 6,000 cubic feet of air should pass through the last open crosscut in 20 and 21 south off 4 west.


The mine is rated as gassy; however, no gas was detected by means of a permissible flame safety lamp during this inspection.

Air samples were taken and will be analyzed, and the results will be published in the final report.


No method is used to control coal dust at this mine. Large accumulations of coal dust were observed along haulage roads in rooms and at the discharge ends of loading conveyers.

All accumulations of coal dust should be loaded into cars and removed from the mine.

As no precautions are taken to allay coal dust at its sources, dusty atmospheres are prevalent during cutting and loading operations.

It is recommended that water or a wetting solution be applied to the cutter bars of mining machines, loading points of all conveyors, and on all loaded cars.

Rock dust has been used on the main haulage roads and room headings.

From visual inspection, these entries, all rooms, and all unsealed places to within 40 feet of the working faces should be rerock dusted.

Samples of dust were collected in the mine and will be analyzed in the Bureau of Mines laboratory. The results of the analysis will be published in the final report.

EXPLOSIVES Permissible explosives are used to blast all coal, and all holes are stemmed to the collar with fire clay. Electric detonators are not being used as all shots are fired with fuze and caps.

All shots should be fired electrically and by means of permissible shot-firing units.

Permissible explosives and caps are taken into the mines in a wooden car provided for that purpose, and which is hauled by a mule. The electric power is cut off the mine while the explosives are being delivered to all sections of the mine. The explosives are stored in separate wooden, locked boxes. The company is commended for distributing and storing explosives in such a safe manner.

ELECTRICAL EQUIPMENT, WIRING, AND GUARDING The electric equipment is of the nonpermissible type; however, it appeared to be in good operating condition. Telephone wires at several places are on the same side of the entry as the power wires. Nips on cutting machines, drills, Joy loading machines, and locomotive cable are not equipped with fuses, and the

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