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The mine management should provide at or near the face working an ample supply of timber of proper size with which to timber all working places in a
safe manner. Section 26.-Safety posts, jacks, or cross bars were not being used at the faces of numerous working places that required them.
Temporary safety posts, jacks, or cross bars should be set close to the face when necessary, before other mining operations are begun, and as needed
thereafter. Section 20.–Unsupported loose roof and overhanging ribs and brows were observed along practically all of the room-entry and intermediate haulageways, and unsupported loose roof was observed along the roadways in a large number of working places.
The loose roof and overhanging ribs and brows along the room-entry and intermediate haulageways and along the roadways in working places should be either timbered adequately or taken down.
ARTICLE IV. EXPLOSIVES AND BLASTING
Section 10.-One of the warning signs was posted on the west wall of the explosives-storage magazine.
The warning sign should be so located that a bullet passing directly through the face of the sign will not strike the explosives-storage magazine. Section 4a.—The underground section explosives-storage boxes were stored in entry crosscuts and abandoned room necks about 10 feet from tracks and power wires.
The underground section explosives-storage boxes should be placed in crosscuts or idle room necks at least 25 feet from roadways or power wires. Sections 5a1 and 522.—The permissible explosives were fired with blasting caps and fuse.
The permissible explosives should be fired only with electric detonators of proper strength and permissible shot-firing units.
ARTICLE V. VENTILATION AND MINE GASES
Section 3a.—The mine was ventilated by one continuous air current and, as a result, a number of worked-out sections were not ventilated properly.
The main intake air current should be divided into splits utilizing air crossings where needed, so as to ventilate all parts of the mine effectively,
or the worked-out sections should be sealed. Section 36.- A total of 160 men was employed underground on one split of air.
The number of men working on a split of air should not be more than 100 in order to conform to the requirements of the Illnois State Mining Law. Section 3c.-An air measurement of 4,680 cubic feet a minute was obtained in the last open crosscut between 1 and 2 west south, and no air measurement could be obtained in the last open entry crosscut between 21 and 22 south off 4 west south.
The quantity of air reaching the last open entry crosscut in 21 and 22 south off 4 west south and in 1 and 2 west south should be at least 6,000
cubic feet a minute. Section 50.—Three of the air samples collected during the inspection, as shown in table 1, indicate that less than 19.5 percent oxygen was contained in them and two of the samples showed more than 0.5 percent carbon dioxide.
The air in which men work or travel in this mine should be improved to the extent that it will contain at least 19.5 percent oxygen and not more than
0.5 percent carbon dioxide. Section 60.-In many of the working places throughout the mine, room crosscuts were not made at proper intervals, and the following rooms were driven 135 to 160 feet without connecting crosscuts : Nos. 2 and 3 rooms off 19 north 1 west south, Nos. 81 and 82 rooms off 22 south 4 west south, and Nos. 12 and 13 rooms off 14 north 1 west south.
Crosscuts between rooms should be made at not more than 60-foot intervals. Section 68.–Stoppings between the intake and return air along the main haulageways were of wooden construction.
On entries other than room entries, stoppings in crosscuts between intake and return airways should be built of solid, substantial, incombustible material, such as concrete, concrete blocks, brick or tile.
Section 7a.-All doors on the main haulage roads, except on 4 west south, were erected singly, and when any of these doors were opened, the air was shortcircuited away from the working section.
Doors used to control ventilation on the main-entry haulage roads should be built in pairs to provide an air lock large enough to contain an entire trip,
or the single doors should be attended. Section 76.-The ventilation door at the mouth of 19 north off 4 west south and the first door between the 13 north and 14 north entries were found latched open for an extended period of time, which caused the air to be short-circuited away from the working sections.
Doors should be kept closed except when men or equipment is passing through the doorways. Motor crews and other persons who open doors
should see that the doors are closed before leaving them. Section 9a.-Abandoned workings were not posted to warn persons against entering the territory.
Abandoned workings should be posted to warn unauthorized persons against entering the territory. Sections 97 and 9c.—The abandoned room-panel entries between 14 north and 18 north off 1 west south were neither ventilated nor sealed, and the noxious gases emanating from these abandoned entries were being carried to the active working sections with the ventilating current.
The above-mentioned entries should be ventilated, or sealed in a substantial manner with Mcombustible material. If the area is sealed, one or more of the seals should be fitted with a pipe and valve or cap to permit the gases
behind the seals to be sampled. Section 10d.--Due to the extensive territory that the mine examiner for the day shift has to cover, he is required to start the examination of the mine at 11 p. m., or 8 hours before the start of the shift.
The examination of the mine should start in the first working place not more than 4 hours before the first shift enters the mine. Section 10e.-The mine examiners did not mark the date or their initials near the faces of all active rooms and entries reportedly examined by them, and very few dates were found near the faces of crosscuts that were being driven.
The mine examiners should place their initials and date at or near the face of each place examined, including crosscuts that are being driven. Section 10j.—The working places were not tested for gas during the working shift.
At least once during each working shift while the men are in the mine, or oftener if necessary for safety, the face bosses or other designated competent persons should examine all working places with a permissible flame safety lamp for methane, noxious gases, and oxygen deficiency.
ARTICLE VI. COAL AND ROCK DUST
Section 1a.-Excessive accumulations of coal dust were present on the 4 west south main haulage road, all intermediate haulage roads, and on the roadways of most of the working places.
Coal dust should not be permitted to accumulate excessively on haulage roads or on roadways of the working places. Section 10.—The mine was very dry and dusty and an excessive amount of coal dust was raised into suspension during cutting, loading, transferring coal from the shuttle cars into mine cars, and during transportation operations.
At those places where mining operations raise an excessive amount of dust into the air, water or water with a wetting agent added to it or other
effective methods should be used to allay the coal dust at its source. Secion 20.-Rock dust was applied to within about 400 feet of the faces of entries and rooms were not rock-dusted.
All rooms and entries in the mine should be rock-dusted to within 80 feet of the faces. Sections 2c and 20.-Four of the dust samples collected during the inspection, as shown in table 2, indicate that the road samples were lower in incombustible content than was recommended for this mine.
The areas in which the above dust samples were collected should be rockdusted and the rock dust distributed and maintained in such quantity that the incombustible content of the mine dust will not be less than 65 percent, plus 1 percent for each 0.1 percent of methane present in the ventilating current.
ARTICLE VII. TRANSPORTATION
Section 20.—The sides of the cages were open and the ends of the cages were not guarded when men were hoisted and lowered.
The sides of the cages should be enclosed, and gates, safety chains, or bars should be used across the open ends of the cages when men are being hoisted
and lowered. Section 36.—Four switch throws recently installed along the main haulage road in the 1 west south were placed on the trolley-wire side.
Switch throws should be installed on the clearance side of 1 west south. Section 4a.—The main entries and room-panel entries developed recently did not have adequate clearance.
Haulage roads on entries developed after the effective date of the Federal Mine Safety Code should have a continuous unobstructed clearance of at
least 24 inches from the farthest projection of moving equipment. Section 4e.—The clearance along the main and intermediate haulageways has been obstructed with road cleanings and mine waste.
The clearance space on all haulage roads should be kept free of road cleanings, loose rock, coal, and other materials, provided that not more
than 24 inches need be kept clean. Section 4h.-Shelter holes were not provided along the main and intermediate haulageways that were developed recently.
Shelter holes should be provided along all haulage entries developed recently. Such shelter holes should be spaced not more than 80 feet apart. Except where the trolley wire is 6 feet or more above the roadbed or guarded effectively at the shelter holes, they should be on the side of the entry
opposite the trolley wire. Sections 6a and 66.-Locomotives were not equipped with devices for the rerailing of cars and locomotives, nor with warning devices.
Each locomotive should be equipped with suitable rerailers, lifting jacks, and other necessary tools for rerailing cars and locomotives, and provided
with an audible warning device. Section 6f.--Back-poling appeared to be a general practice in this mine.
Back-poling should be prohibited except at places where the trolley pole cannot be reversed or when going up extremely steep grades and then only
at very slow speed. Section 6n.-Failure to place a stopblock or derailing device across the track in No. 11 room off 19 north resulted in a man being fatally injured at the face of the room by a run-away car.
When coal is not being loaded, but men are working at a room or entry face, a positive-acting stopblock or derail should be placed across the room or entry track to prevent cars from being inadvertently pushed or running into
the places. Section 7d.-Men in man-trips ride under the trolley wire.
No person should ride under the trolley wire unless suitable covered mancars are used. Section Th.-The trolley wire was energized when men were loading and unloading from the man-trips, and the trolley wire was not guarded.
The trolley wire should be guarded effectively at man-trip stations.
ARTICLE VIII. ELECTRICITY Section 46.—Bare power wires were contacting timbers at numerous places in the working sections, and in No. 11 room off 13 north 1 west south the energized power wire was lying on the floor.
Power wires should be supported on or by well-installed insulators and should not touch roof, ribs, or other combustible material. Section 495.-Cut-out switches were not provided at the beginning of most branch trolley or power lines.
The trolley and power wires should be provided with cut-out switches near the beginning of all branch lines. Section 495.-The trolley and power wires in most of the working sections sagged excessively and contacted timbers and doorframes at many places.
The trolley and power wires in the working sections should be kept taut and not permitted to touch the roof, ribs, cross bars, doorframes or other combustible material.
Section 496.-The trolley and power wires were not guarded anywhere in the mine.
The trolley and power wires should be guarded adequately where men work or pass under them regularly, when the wires are less than 642 feet above the rail. The wires should also be guarded adequately on both sides
of doors. Section 56.—The frames of the mining machines and electric drills were not grounded.
The frames of the mining machines and electric drills should be grounded. Section 7a.—Telephone service was not provided to within a mile of the working section in 22 south off 4 west south, and to within several thousand feet of the working section in 20 north and 24 south off 4 west south.
Telephone service should be provided from the surface to all working sections in the mine. Section 9d.-Sufficient onshift examinations for gas were not made to provide reasonable assurance that the workmen were protected where the nonpermissible electric equipment was used.
Care should be taken to protect the workmen by making frequent examinations of the air for methane. Section 100.—Many of the trailing cables for portable underground electric equipment were not provided with overload protection at the nips.
All trailing cables for portable underground electric equipment should be provided with suitable overload protection.
SAFEGUARDS FOR MECHANICAL EQUIPMENT Section 1a.-The, cutter chains of mining machines were not equipped with positive locking devices.
The cutter chains of mining machines should be locked securely to prevent accidental movement while being trammed or when parked. Section 201.-The exposed gears and sprockets in the tipple constituted a hazard.
The above-mentioned gears and sprockets should be guarded adequately. Section 203.—The drive belts on the pumps in the main pumping station in the 1 west south were not guarded.
The drive belts mentioned above should be guarded adequately.
ARTICLE X. UNDERGROUND FIRE PREVENTION, FIRE CONTROL, AND MINE DISASTERS Section 1a.-Rock dust was not provided at mine doors.
Several bags of rock dust should be placed on the intake-air side of each ventilation door. Section 1h.–From four to six barrels of lubricating oil and grease were stored in abandoned room necks in each working section, which amount was sufficient for about 2 weeks' requirement.
Underground storage places for lubricating oil and grease in excess of 2 days' supply should be of fireproof construction.
ARTICLE XI. MISCELLANEOUS
Section 4j.-Signs indicating the directions to the escapeways were not posted.
Direction signs should be posted conspicuously to indicate the designated escapeways. Section 5a.-All of the underground employees and officials, except the mine examiners, used open-flame carbide lamps for illumination.
All workmen and other persons underground should use only permissible electric cap lamps for ortable illumination. Section 56.-Underground employees did not carry positive means of identification.
This mine should have a check-in and check-out system that will provide positive identification upon the person of every individual underground. Section 60.-Men were observed lighting matches during this inspection.
Because of the explosion and fire hazards, the carrying of matches or other flame-making devices underground should be prohibited. Section 76.—About 5 percent of the employees did not wear protective footwear.
Protective footwear should be worn by employees, officials, and others while on duty in and around the mine where falling objects may cause injury.
Section 7e.-Haulagemen and others working around moving equipment wore loose-fitting clothing.
Employees engaged in haulage operations and other persons employed around moving equipment on the surface and underground should wear snug-fitting clothing.
ARTICLE XII. GENERAL SAFETY CONDITIONS
Section 1c.—The mine examiner for the night shift was not certified.
The mine examiner for the night shift should hold a certificate of compe tency issued by the Illinois Department of Mines and Minerals.
CORRECTION OF HAZARDS MADE SINCE THE LAST FEDERAL INSPECTION 1. The defective handrail on the stairway leading from the tipple to the weighroom has been repaired.
2. The wash house has been provided with an additional exit.
3. The wooden coal-storage bin near the hoisting shaft has been covered with fire-resistant material.
4. A systematic plan of room timbering has been put into effect. 5. Extensive timbering has been done along the 1 west south main haulageway.
6. The inner wall and ceiling of the explosives-storage magazine have been lined with wood 3 inches in thickness and the ceiling was covered with sand 6 inches deep.
7. Not more than a 48-hour supply of explosives was stored underground. 8. The main haulageways and room entries have been rock-dusted.
9. The room, housing the motor-generator set in the 20 north, has been made fireproof.
10. Two telephones have been installed along the 1 west south haulageway, one at 13 north and the other at 18 north.
The cooperation of officials and employees during this inspection is gratefully acknowledged.
The prevention of accidents requires cooperation between officials and employees, and such cooperation can only be attained when facts concerning hazards are known. It is hoped that the facts in this report, therefore, will help in preventing accidents at this mine. Respectfully submitted.
FRANK PERZ, Coal-Mine Inspector.
TABLE 1.-Analyses of air samples collected November 1946, mine No. 5,
Centralia Coal Co.
Mine air, last crosscut 1-2
off 19 north 1 west south.
main south overcast Mine air, mouth 17 north
abandoned area off 1
off 22 south 4 west south
20-21 north off 4 west
off 24 south 4 west south..