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Section 2a.—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 ha.—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 baulageways 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 69.-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 7h.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.

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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 494.-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 50.—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.

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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 2a3.—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 10.-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.


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 portable illumination. Section 50.-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 6a.-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.


Section 10.—The mine examiner for the night shift was not certified.

The mine examiner for the night shift should hold a certificate of competency 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.

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Mine air, last crosscut 1-2

west south.
Mine air, face No. 13 room

off 19 north 1 west south.
Mine air, return air at

main south overcast. Mine air, mouth 17 north

abandoned area off 1

west south.
Mine air, main return

shaft bottom.
Mine air, face No. 79 room

off 22 south 4 west south..
Mine air, last crosscut

20-21 north off 4 west

Mine air, face No. 19 room

off 24 south 4 west south..

80. 49

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TABLE 2.-Analyses of dust samples collected November 1946, mine No. 5,

Centralia Coal Co.

(Collected by Frank Perz]

Can No.1

Sample of dust


Location in mine

As-received basis, percent


through Mois

Com- Incom-20-mesh Ash ture

bustible bustible

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M-872 Roof and ribs... Haulage road at No. 8 room, 14

north, off 1 west south. X-562 Road..

.do. C-125 Roefs and ribs. Haulage road at No. 5 room, 18

north, off 1 west south. V-548 Road

do. B-291 Roof and ribs.. Main haulage road south west in

tersection, off 4 west south, T-729 Road

.do. J-354 Roof and ribs.. Main 4 west haulage road at 12

south. B-419 Road.





77.1 94.8


1. 1

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1 Sample from rock-dusted area.



(By Frank Perz, coal-mine inspector)


This report is based on an inspection made in accordance with the Coal Mine Inspection and Investigation Act of 1941, Public Law 49, Seventy-seventh Congress, H. R. 2082, and the terms of the agreement of May 29, 1946, between the Secretary of the Interior, acting as Coal Mines Administrator, and the United Mine Workers of America.

The purpose of this report is to inform the Coal Mines Administrator and other persons concerned of violations of the Federal Mine Safety Code and to suggest means of correcting hazards.

The application and enforcement of State laws and rules or regulations made pursuant to such laws are in no manner affected by the Federal Mine Safety Code. Compliance with the Federal Mine Safety Code in no way excuses noncompliance with State laws and rules or regulations made pursuant thereto.

Violations of the Code and recommendations for correcting them that are repeated from the last report are indicated by asterisks.


A new superintendent, W. J. Johnson, of Tuscola, Ill., is in charge of the mine. The No. 5 mine is located 2 miles south of Centralia, Ill. The mine is opened by two wood-lined shafts and is developed in the Illinois No. 6 coal bed, which averages 76 inches in thickness. A total of 267 men was employed, of which number 135 worked underground on the day shift and 75 on the night shift. The average daily production was 2,229 tons of coal. All coal was under cut by means of short-wall mining machines and was loaded mechanically by means of mobile loading machines. The mine management stated that the life of the mine at the present rate of production was estimated to be 16 years. Bureau of Mines sampling has shown that methane in excess of 0.25 percent

been found in open workings during two previous Federal inspections and methane issuing from a crevice in the roof in No. 79 room off 22 south was ignited with an open-flame carbide lamp on June 7, 1946.



Section 1a.-* Dense clouds of coal dust were present at the open-type electric motors throughout the tipple.

*In dusty locations motors of dust-tight construction should be provided, or the present motors should be corrected with reasonably dust-tight housings. Section 18.-*Excessive accumulations of coal dust were present throughout the tipple.

*The tipple should be kept free of coal-dust accumulations. Section 3a.—*The opening in the floor at the discharge end of the raw-coal conveyor in the tipple was not provided with railings.

*The opening in the floor at the discharge end of the raw-coal conveyor in the tipple should be provided with railings.

ARTICLE III. TIMBERING Section 20.-—*Timbers of sufficient length to use as cross bars were not provided in the working sections.

*The mine management should provide at or near the face workings 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 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.


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 5a2.—*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. Section 5a7.-Shots were fired at the end of the shift with all of the men in the mine, and examinations for gas were not made immediately before and after blasting.

Examinations for gas should be made immediately before and after firing each shot where on-shift shooting is done.

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 135 men were 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 Illinois State Mining Law. Section 3c.—*An air measurement of 3,380 cubic feet a minute was obtained in the last open crosscut between 20 and 21 north off 4 west south, and no air measurement could be obtained in the last open entry crosscut between the 1 and 2 west south main entries.

*Prompt action should be taken to provide a minimum of 6,000 cubic feet of air a minute in the last open crosscut in the 1 and 2 west south main

entries, and the 20 and 21 north entries off 4 west south. Section 50,–*Two 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 one 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.

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