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SUMMARY OF SAFETY IMPROVEMENTS The following important safety improvements have been carried out since the previous inspection. These improvements were due to various influences, such as recommendations of Federal, coal-mine inspectors, orders and suggestions of State mine inspectors, initiative of mining-company officials, cooperation of miners individually and collectively, or the safety efforts of other groups.

1. An additional efficient hand brake has been provided on the hoist for emergency use.

2. The floor in the wash house is washed daily with a disinfectant solution. 3. The area surrounding the explosives-storage and detonator-storage magazines has been cleared of grass and other combustible material for a distance of at least 50 feet in all directions.

4. About 400 feet of the main intake air course in 2 west has been cleaned of roof falls.

5. Room and room-entry crosscuts are made at 60-foot intervals. 6. The main haulgeways and most of the room entries have been rock-dusted.

7. Several bags of rock dust have been placed at the permanent underground electrical installations nd at places where oil and grease are stored.

ACKNOWLEDGMENT The inspector was afforded cooperation by the State mine inspector and company officials in conducting the inspection, and data requested were given promptly and fully. Respectfully submitted.

FRANK PERZ, Coal Mine Inspector.

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Company: Centralia Coal Co. Mine : No. 5 Mine.
Location: Centralia, Marion County, Ill.
Date of inspection : July 16-19, 1945. Inspector: Frank Perz.
Number men employed : 251. Daily production : 1,832 tons.
Originating office: Bureau of Mines, 201 Post Office Building, Vincennes, Ind.;

C. A. Herbert, supervising engineer.. The facts disclosed by the inspection of this mine, including both commedable conditions and practices and those that should be corrected, 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 mine is ventilated by means of a reversible-type fan located underground and was delivering 55,680 cubic feet of air a minute; this amount, if properly directed to the working faces, would be adequate for present requirements,

The air is directed to the working sections in one continuous current and is controlled by means of wooden, concrete, and fire-resistant stoppings, and all except one set of doors are erected singly. A number of the ventilation doors are in a state of poor repair and permit an excessive amount of air leakage.

Rooms turned off 16 north are driven 500 feet or more in depth, and none of the room crosscuts is closed; as a result, the working faces are not ventilated properly.

1. The present fan, or a new fan of adequate size and capacity to ventilate the mine properly, should be installed on the surface in a fireproof housing, and it should be installed so as to permit the prompt reversal of the air flow.

2. Stoppings between the intake and return air of all main haulageways should be constructed of substantial incombustible material, and on branch haulageways stopping should be constructed of incombustible or fire-resistant material.

3. Doors used to control ventilation should be installed in pairs to form air locks; or, where this is not feasible, tight check curtains, well maintained, should be hung in connection with single doors. Ventilation doors should be maintained in good repair.

4. All room crosscuts, except the one nearest the face, should be closed where necessary to obtain a perceptible movement of air at the face.

5. Each working place should be ventilated by a perceptible air current sufficient in quantity to remove gases, explosives fumes, smoke, and dust.


The quantity of air passing through the last open crosscuts of working entries was found to be adequate, except in the last open-entry crosscut between 21 and 22 south, where an air measurement of 3,900 cubic feet a minute was obtained.

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


This mine is classified as gassy by the Bureau of Mines, but it is not operated in full compliance with the recommendations of the Bureau of Mines for a mine so classified. No explosive gas was detected by means of a permissible flame safety lamp during this inspection. However, the results of the analyses of air samples collected in this mine during a previous inspection disclosed sufficient methane to warrant classifying the mine as gassy.

1. This mine, which is classed as gassy by the Bureau of Mines, should be operated in full compliance with Bureau of Mines recommendations for a mine so classified.

CONTROL OF COAL DUST No method of allaying dust is used in this mine, and very dusty atmospheres are prevalent during cutting, loading, and transportation operations. Throughout this inspection, large accumulations of fine coal and coal dust were noted on most of the haulage roads and in the working places, particularly in the shuttle-car sections.

1. Water or a wetting solution should be used to allay the coal dust effectively on the cutter bars of mining machines, on the coal pile before and during loading, on the haulage roads, and at other sources of dust formation.

2. The fine coal and coal dust on the haulage roads should be loaded into cars and removed from the mine as soon as possible, and regular cleaning schedules should be arranged so as to prevent dust from accumulating in the future. The loose coal and coal dust in the working places should be cleaned systematically as the working places advance.

ROCK DUSTING Since the previous inspection, the main haulageways and most of the haulageways in room entries have been rock-dusted, but the rock dust is not applied near enough to the faces of the working entries, and no rock dust has been applied in rooms.

1. This mine should be rock-dusted thoroughly in all open, unsealed places, including rooms, to within 40 feet or less of the faces, so that the incombustible content of the resultant dust will be at least 65 percent, plus 1 percent for each 0.1 percent of methane present in the ventilating current.


Permissible explosives, fired by means of fuze and detonator caps and stemmed with clay dummies, are used to blast the coal. Shots are fired in rapid succession at the end of the shift while all of the men are in the mine.

1. Permissible explosives should be fired only with instantaneous electric detonators of proper strength, and with permissible shot-firing units, if procurable.

2. Shots should not be fired in rapid succession, and all of the men other than the shot firers should be out of the mine during blasting operations, unless blasting is done in a permissible manner.

ELECTRICAL EQUIPMENT, WIRING, AND GUARDING The electrical equipment is of the nonpermissible type, and inspections for methane are not made before the equipment is taken in by the first open crosscut of working places. Power wires in a number of places are installed on both sides of the entries, and in numerous instances it was noted that the telephone wires were supported on the same insulators with the power wires. It was noted during the inspection that the trolley wire inby the 4 west passing track is so low that the harp on the trolley pole of a locomotive hauling the man-trip contacted the steel man-trip car, causing an enormous electric flash. In a number of instances, power wires were observed contacting timbers, and in general the power and trolley wires are not guarded where persons are required to pass under the wires.

i. Each working place should be inspected carefully for methane by a certified official or other competent person immediately before electrical equipment is taken inby the first open crosscut or operated in a working place.

2. All power wires should be installed on the same side of the roadways as the trolley wire.

3. The telephone lines should be installed on the side opposite the power and trolley wires.

4. The trolley wire should be alined and placed at least 6 inches outside the rail, and it should be installed high enough above the rail to provide adequate clearance between the trolley pole and the haulage equipment.

5. Trolley and bare power wires should be kept taut and not permitted to contact the roof, rib, or timbers, and the wires should be guarded properly on each side of ventilation doors, man-trip loading and unloading stations, and at all places where persons are required to work or pass under the wires.

TIMBERING A standard plan of timbering has not been adopted. Some improvement has been made in providing better timbering along the roadways in the working places; however, safety posts and temporary cross bars are not used generally near the working faces.

Considerable loose, unsupported shale and rock and overhanging roof were noted along the roadways and at the faces of a number of working places.

1. A standard plan of timbering, suitable to the roof conditions in this mine, should be adopted and a plan thereof posted.

2. Temporary safety posts, jacks, or cross bars should be set near the working faces before other mining operations are begun, and additional safety posts should be set at the sides of loading machines as the cut of coal is being loaded out.

3. Loose shale or rock and overhanging roof in places where men are required to work or travel should be removed or supported as soon as detected, and no person should go under such loose material until it is made safe.

HAULAGE-ROADWAYS, ETC. The haulage roads in general are dirty; adequate clearance and shelter holes are not provided along the haulageways; small boards are used on the rear end of trips instead of trip lights; and trips of cars are pushed for a long distance on intermediate haulageways.

1. Haulage roads should be kept free of coal spillage and debris.

2. Where practicable, there should be a continuous clearance on the side opposite the trolley wire, from the shaft bottom to all working faces, of at least 30 inches from the nearest obstruction to the farthest projection of any moving equipment. 3. Shelter holes should be provided along all haulageways at 60-foot intervals.

4. Permissible electric trip lights should be used on the front of all trips pushed and on the rear of all trips pulled.

5. Pushing of cars should be eliminated insofar as possible ; trips should not be pushed on main haulageways except at partings or in an emergency.

LIGHTING All of the underground employees and officials, except the superintendent and one of the mine examiners, continue to use open-flame carbide lights.

1. Permissible electric cap lamps should be carried by all persons for illumination in the mine.


All of the underground employees wear protective hats, and about 80 percent of the men wear safety-toe shoes. Haulagemen and men working around machinery wear loose-fitting clothing. Failure of men to wear safety goggles or eyeshields when doing work that require their use, resulted in 8 lost-time injuries during the first 6 months of 1945. Smoking is permitted in the mine.

1. All persons in and about the mine should wear safety-toe shoes, and haulagemen and others who work around machinery should wear snugly fitting clothing

2. Men should be required to wear goggles or eyeshields when exposed to hazards of flying particles.

3. Smoking should not be permitted or practiced in the mine.


The coal dust is allayed with a wetting solution at the dumping point in the tipple; however, it does not appear to be very effective, as considerable dust is in suspension during dumping operations. Large accumulations of coal dust were present throughout the tipple.

Most of the machinery drive belts in the surface and underground shops and several gears and sprockets in the tipple are unguarded.

1. In addition to allaying the coal dust at the dumping point, it should also be allayed at other points in the tipple where large quantities of dust are released.

2. The coal dust, should be cleaned from the tipple thoroughly every day; and, where it is impracticable to remove coal dust from remote places, such places should be rock dusted thoroughly.

3. The machinery drive belts in the surface and underground shops and the exposed gears and sprockets in the tipple should be guarded properly.

CAGES AND OTHER HOISTING EQUIPMENT The sides of the cages are not enclosed fully, and safety gates are not provided across the open ends of the cage platforms when men are being hoisted and lowered.

1. The sides of the cages should be enclosed fully, and safety gates should be provided across the open ends when men are hoisted and lowered.

GENERAL COMMENTS The company does not employ a safety director. A safety organization was not maintained; consequently, no safety meetings are held.

1. A safety engineer or safety director should be employed at this mine.

2. A safety organization of employees and officials should be established, and joint safety meetings should be held at least once a month to discuss accidents, their causes, and means of preventing accidents.

The State mine inspector, officials, and employees extended full cooperation and assistance during this inspection.

FRANK PERZ, Inspector.

(NOTE.—This release is issued by direction of the Federal Coal Mine Inspection Act of

May 7, 1941 (Public Law 49, 77th Cong.) ]




(For release Wednesday, September 19, 1945]

Two ILLINOIS COAL MINES INSPECTED Greater emphasis upon accident prevention has been recommended by Federal coal-mine inspectors for two Iłlinois operations in Marion and Randolph Counties, the Bureau of Mines disclosed today in releasing the formal reinspection reports on the mines.

Employing 509 men and producing 3,482 tons of coal daily, the operations are the No. 5 mine of the Centralia Coal Co. at Centralia, Marion County, and the West mine of the Florida Coal Co. at Coulterville, Randolph County.

The inspectors commended safety advances made at both developments be tween Federal examinations and attributed these betterments to company initiative, employee cooperation, orders and suggestions of the Illinois Department of Mines and Minerals, and recommendations of the Bureau.


Although accident-frequency rates declined slightly during the first half of 1945, the output for each lost-time injury at the 1,832-ton-a-day No. 5 mine still was lower than that of the average bituminous operation, reported Inspector Frank Perz after completing a recent safety survey. The mine employs 251 men.

Noting that haulage, eye accidents, and falls of roof were the principal causes of injuries at the mine, Perz urged strict compliance with Bureau standards pertaining to these hazards. Further accident-prevention measures suggested by Perz included safer blasting practices, increased air at one open crosscut, a "split” system of ventilation and several other air-coursing betterments, more effective coal-dust control, elimination of several electrical hazards, additional fire-fighting equipment, use of permissible electrical cap lights by all underground employees, and a “no smoking” rule.

Perz credited the operation with a number of between-inspection improvements, including driving of crosscuts at proper intervals, rock-dusting of the haulageways and most of the room entries, removal of roof falls from the main "intake" airway in 2 west, safer storage of explosives, provision of rock dust at permanent underground electrical installations, and an emergency hand brake for the hoist.


Inspector T. Alvin Scully, who recently completed a survey of health and safety conditions at the 1,650-ton-a-day West mine, commended the safety progress made during the first 5 months of the present year but also emphasized the need for additional improvements in operations.

Major recommendations were for posting of the timbering plan and use of adequate cap pieces over safety posts, haulage betterments embracing throws for switches and additional shelter holes, and further electrical and mechanical safeguards. Additional suggestions for promoting the general safety at the mine included exclusive use of permissible explosives, provision of rock dust for fire-emergency use, and elimination of such ignition hazards as smoking in the mine and the use of open-flame lights.

Scully noted that sufficient methane (explosive gas) was being liberated dur. ing this and the previous inspection to justify classification and operation of the mine as gassy. He also suggested stronger air-currents at some working faces and detailed improvements in air-coursing facilities.

The report commended such recent safety advances as proper installation of all power wires, guarding of the drive gears of the conveyor belt in the coalstorage bin, and arrangements made to reverse the fan in the event of an emergency.

A total of 258 men is employed at the mine. Copies of the reports are available for inspection at the Bureau of Mines, Department of the Interior, Washington, D. C., and at the Bureau of Mines District Office at Vincennes, Ind.



(By Frank Perz, coal-mine inspector)

INTRODUCTION This report is based on an inspection made March 5-8, 1946, to obtain information relating to health and safety conditions at this mine in accordance with the provisions in the Federal Coal Mine Inspection and Investigation Act of 1941, H. R. 2082.

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