Imágenes de páginas

Mr. SYMONS. The mine was in bad physical condition.
Mr. KELLEY. Tell us just how.
Mr. Symons. Badly neglected ?
Mr. KELLEY. Do you have your report?
Mr. SYMONS. This is my report.
Mr. KELLEY. It will be made a part of the record at this point.

(Previous reports on the Sterling mine appear on p. 247. The report referred to is as follows:)



(By W. J. Symons, R. J. Kirk, coal-mine inspectors)


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.

The purpose of this report is to call to the attention of all concerned violations of the Federal Mine Safety Code observed during this inspection and to recommend means of correcting hazards.

Violations of the Federal Mine Safety Code and recommendations for their correction repeated from the previous report are indicated by asterisks.


The Sterling mine, located 3 miles west of Salineville, Columbiana County, Ohio, on Route 39, is opened by two drifts and one shaft in the Mahoning or No. 7-A coal bed, which averages 36 inches in thickness in the present workings. The employment was 149 men, of whom 134 worked underground on 1 shift daily, 5 days a week. The average daily production was 600 tons of coal, loaded by hand. The management estimated the life of the mine to be 9 years.

The mine was developed by a room-and-pillar method. Entries were driven . in sets of three, and room entries were driven at intervals of 600 feet. Crosscuts were 60 feet apart.

A systematic method of timbering had been adopted, but safety posts were not set as needed at the working faces. In some places permanent posts were not set within 12 feet of the face.

Coal and rock were blasted on shift with pellet black powder, fired with sulfur squibs. Dynamite, fired with electric detonators, was sometimes used for blasting rock.

Ventilation was induced by a centrifugal fan operated blowing. The fan was installed on the surface 8 feet from the shaft in an incombustible building provided with a fireproof air duct. The ventilation was inadequate in the face regions throughout the mine. Preshift and on-shift examinations for methane were not made. The mine was examined weekly for methane and other hazards. Stoppings along the main entries were constructed of tile and concrete blocks. In 15 east and 12 west single unattended doors were used. In some places line brattice was not used in the face regions where necessary.

The mine was rated nongassy by the Ohio Division of Mines. The analyses of air samples collected during this inspection are shown in table 1. Tests were made with a permissible flame safety lamp in all accessible places during this inspection, but methane was not detected.

Excessive accumulations of coal dust were present along the haulage roads and on the roof, ribs, and timbers. The mine was generally dry, but it had nerer been rock-dusted. Excessive dust was thrown into suspension during cutting operations but provision was not made to allay dust at its source.

Coal was transported in mine cars by trolley and battery locomotives. Shelter holes were provided, but they were not kept free of obstructions. Clearance was inadequate at several places in recently developed entries, and the clearance space along the haulage roads was obstructed at many places. Men were transported in the regular mine cars. The trolley wire was not guarded at man-trip waiting stations where contact hazards existed.

Electric power, 220 volts alternating current and 275 volts direct current, was used on the surface and underground. Some of the electric power wires were nailed on posts. Cut-out switches were provided at the beginning of branch lines in the active working sections, but they were not provided in the trolley wire from the surface to the working sections, a distance of more than 3 miles. The electric face equipment was of nonpermissible type, but it was maintained in good operating condition. Trailing cables, except those on the electric coal drills, were protected against excessive overload. One substation was on the surface and two were underground.

Underground fire-fighting equipment was inadequate for the size of the mine.
Active workings were not approaching abandoned areas.
Escapeways were obstructed by water and falls.

Carbide lamps were used by most of the men for portable illumination underground.

Smoking was practiced throughout the mine.


Article I. Surface structures

Section 1a.-*Considerable dust was in suspension in the tipple, and open-type motors were used.

*The electric motors in the tipple should be of dust-tight construction.

Section 3a.-The stairways leading to the loading platforms in the tipple were not equipped with handrails.

These stairways should be equipped with handrails. Article II. Miscellaneous surface conditions

Section 1a.-*Oil was stored in a wooden building, which was heated with a coal stove.

*The building used for storing oil should be of fire-resistive material and well ventilated.

Section 16.— *Smoking in the surface buildings was not restricted.

*Smoking in or about surface structures should be restricted to places where it will not cause fire or an explosion. Article III, Timbering

Section 26.-*Temporary safety posts were not used where needed in some working places.

*Temporary safety posts, jacks, or crossbars should be set close to the faces before other mining operations are begun, and as needed thereafter.

Section 20.- In some places, permanent timbers were not set within 12 feet of the faces which was not sufficient to protect face workers from falls of roof.

All working places should be timbered sufficiently to protect employees working at the face from falls of roof. Article IV. Explosives and blasting

Section 5a.—*Pellet black powder fired with sulfur squibs, and dynamite fired with electric detonators, were used for blasting coal and rock on shift. Fine coal was used for stemming, and metal tamping bars were used. Metal was exposed inside the surface magazine, and warning signs were lying on the ground. In many instances, explosives were stored in the rooms within 3 feet of the track. Explosives stored in the working sections was more than 3 weeks' supply. In one place, two charges were fired with squibs lighted from a carbide lamp; one squib was lighted immediately following the other.

*Permissible explosives or permissible blasting devices should be used for onshift blasting, and the storage, transportation, and use of such explosives or blasting devices should be in accordance with the provisions in article IV, sections 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, and 10 of the Federal Mine Safety Code. Article V. Ventilation and mine gases

Section 10.-*The fan was not constantly attended, nor was a device provided to give alarm if the fan slows down or stops.

*Unless the fan is attended constantly, an automatic device to give alarm when the fan slows down or stops should be installed. This device should be placed so that it will be seen or heard by a responsible person.

Section 3b.-*More than 70 men were employed on one continuous air current.

*The number of men on a split of air should not exceed 65 unless granted special permission by the proper authority.

Section 3c.-* Less than 6,000 cubic feet of air a minute was reaching the last open crosscuts in the 15, 16, 17, and 18 east entries, and 10, 11, and 12 west entries.

*The quantity of air reaching the last open crosscut in each pair of entries should be not less than 6,000 cubic feet a minute.

Section 3d.—The air current at many of the working faces was not of sufficient volume and velocity to dilute and carry away smoke and harmful gases produced by blasting.

The air current at the working faces should be of sufficient volume and velocity to dilute and carry away smoke and harmful gases produced by blasting.

Section 60.-The faces of 17 and 18 east butt entries had been advanced more than 100 feet beyond the last open crosscuts.

These entries should not be advanced more than 60 feet beyond the last open crosscuts.

Section 6b.Two or more crosscuts were left open in 15 east, and 11 and 12 west entries.

Crosscuts between entries should be kept closed, except the last one in a pair of entries.

Section 6e.—Rooms were being driven beyond the last crosscuts in 16 and 17 east entries.

Rooms should not be turned off an entry beyond the last crosscut.

Section 70.-*A single unattended door was used to control the air current in 15 east entry and 12 west entry.

*Doors on haulage entries, except in case of panel or room entries in process of development should be erected in pairs to provide suitable air locks or single doors should be attended.

Section 76.-*It was the practice of the motormen on the gathering locomotives to leave the ventilation doors open while gathering coal from the working faces.

*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 80.–Line brattice was not used at necessary places to conduct air to the faces.

Substantially constructed line brattice should be used from the last open crosscut of an entry or room, when necessary to remove gases, explosives fumes, and smoke.

Section 9a.-Abandoned workings were not posted.

Abandoned workings should be posted to warn unauthorized persons against entering the territory.

Section 100.--*Preshift examinations of the mine were not made.

*Fire bosses should make an examination of this mine before other men are permitted to enter. See article V, sections 10d, 10e, 10f, 10g, and 10h of the Federal mine safety code for duties of fire bosses.

Article VI, Coal and rock dust

Section 10.-*Excessive accumulations of coal dust were present along the haulage entries.

*Coal dust should not be permitted to accumulate excessively on roadways.

Section 10.-*Most of the working places were dry, and excessive dust was thrown into suspension during the cutting operations, but provision was not made to allay the dust at its source.

*Water or water with a wetting agent added to it or other effective methods should be used to allay the dust at its source.

Section 21.-*Most of the mine was dry and dusty, but the mine had never been rock-dusted.

*Rooms and entries that are not definitely wet should be rock-dusted to within SO feet of the faces.

Section 26.—*The back entries were dry and dusty, and had never been rockdusted.

*The back entries should be adequately rock-dusted for at least 1,000 feet outby the junction with the first active entry.

Article VII. Transportation Section 3a._* Excessive accumulations of loose coal and rock along the main haulageway presented a hazard.

*The main haulageway should be cleaned and maintained in a manner that will insure safe haulage operations.

Section 4a.-* Ample clearance was not provided in the recently developed main haulage entry between 12 and 13 east.

*Recently developed haulageways should have a continuous unobstructed clearance of at least 24 inches from the farthest projection of moving equipment.

Section 4e.—*The clearance space along haulageways from the surface to the active workings, was obstructed with loose rock, dirt, and posts.

*At least 24 inches of the cl ce space should be kept free of obstructions.

Section 66.—*None of the locomotives was equipped with a warning device, and the storage-battery locomotives were not equipped with headlights.

*All the locomotives should be equipped with warning devices, and the storagebattery locomotives should be equipped with headlights.

Section 6d.—*Trip lights were not used.

*An enclosed trip light should be used on the rear of each trip pulled and on the front of each trip pushed. Trip lights need not be used during gathering operations at working faces.

Section 6h.-Motormen were observed getting off locomotives which they were in motion.

Motormen should not get off locomotives while the locomotives are in motion, Section 6i. *Trips were coupled by hand while in motion.

*All trips and all traffic equipment should come to a complete stop before couplings are made by hand, unless a coupling hook is used.

Section 6k._*The surface incline was not provided with a stopblock. *The surface incline should be equipped with a positive-acting stopblock at or above the knuckle.

Section 60.—*Main haulage locomotives were not kept under control while hauling coal trips down grades.

*Slides, skids, or other adequate means should be used for trips on descending grades where the locomotive is not adequate to control the trip.

Section 70.-Employees were hauled regularly in cars connected to loaded trips, and as many as 12 men were observed riding in open cars in this manner.

Each man trip should be under the charge of a responsible person and it should be operated independently of any loaded trip of coal or other material.

Section 70—*Man-trip cars were overloaded.
*Cars on the man trip should not be overloaded.
Section 7d.-*Men rode under the trolley wire in the open mine cars.
*Persons should not ride under the trolley wire in open man-trip cars.

Section 78.-*Men unloaded from the man trip in a disorderly manner while the trip was in motion.

*Men should not unload before the cars in which they are riding come to a full stop and they should proceed from man trips in an orderly manner.

Section 7h.—*The trolley wire was not guarded at man-trip stations where contact hazards existed.

*Trolley and power wires should be guarded effectively at man-trip stations where contact hazards exist. Article VIII. Electricity

Section 3a.—The doors on the underground substations were not arranged to close automatically in case of fire; therefore, the substation rooms were not fireproof.

The door of each substation should be arranged to close automatically in case of fire within the station, to make the room fireproof.

Section 46.—* Some of the power wires were nailed to posts.

*Power wires should be supported on properly installed insulators and should not touch combustible materials.

Section 4e2.-*The tracks in the butt entries were not bonded.

*At least one rail on butt entries should be well bonded, and cross-bonds should be installed at least every 200 feet.

Section 463.-*Most of the track switches on the butt entries were not bonded.

*Where track is used as a power conductor, switches on entries should be well bonded.

Section 493.—*At some places along the main haulageway, the trolley wire was directly over the rail.

*The trolley wire should be installed at least 6 inches outside the track gage line.

Section 494.-*Cut-out switches were not provided in the trolley wire on the main haulage entry and the active workings were more than 3 miles from the surface.

*The trolley wire on the main haulage entry should be provided with cut-out switches at intervals of not more than 2,000 feet.

Section 496.—*The trolley wire was within 5 feet of the track throughout the mine and was not guarded at necessary places.

*The trolley wire should be guarded adequately where it is necessary for men to pass or work under it regularly and at both sides of doors.

Section 497.—*The trolley wire was extended beyond the last open crosscuts in 16, 17, and 18 east entries, and 12 west entry.

*The trolley wire should not extend beyond the last open crosscut.

Section 56.-*The mining machines and some of the underground pumps were not frame-grounded.

*This equipment should be frame-grounded.

Section 6a.—*The motors on the trolley locomotives were not protected against excessive overload, and wires were used as substitutes for proper fuses in the electric circuits of several underground pumps.

*Fuses or equivalent protective devices of the correct type and capacity should be installed on the trolley locomotives to protect against excessive overload. Wires or other conducting materials should not be used as a substitute for properly designated fuses.

Section 6d.-*Three underground pumps had open rheostats.

*Underground electric equipment should be provided with switches or other controls of safe design, construction, and installation.

Section 6f.--*Nonconducting platforms were not kept on the floor in front of the pump switches.

*Dry wooden platforms, rubber mats, or other electrically nonconductive material should be kept in place at each electric switchboard and power control switch.

Section 100.—*Cables on electric coal drills were not provided with overload protection.

*These cables should be provided with suitable overload protection and power taps.

Section 11a.--*Electric-light wires were fastened to posts with nails at most places.

*Electric-light wires should be supported by suitable insulators.

Section 116.-*Electric lights were installed within 150 feet of advancing workings.

*Electric lights should not be installed within 150 feet of advancing workings.

Section 11c._* Electric lights were installed so that they came in contact with combustible material.

* Electric lights should be installed so that they cannot come in contact with combustible materials. Article IX. Safeguards for mechanical equipment

Section 20.-*The brake riggings had been removed from the battery locomotives, and it was necessary to reverse the motors to stop the locomotives.

*A safety device removed from any machine should be replaced before the machine is put in operation. Article X. Underground fire prevention, fire control, and mine disasters

Section 1a.—*Adequate fire-fighting equipment was not provided underground.

*Adequate fire-fighting equipment hhould be provided underground, such as supplies of rock dust at doors and other strategic places, water lines and hose, water or chemical trucks, and fire extinguishers.

Section 19.-*Oil was stored along the roadways in the working sections in the original containers, a supply sufficient for several weeks.

*Underground storage places for oil and grease in excess of 2 days' supply should be of fireproof construction.

Section 11.--*Lubricating oil was kept near the pumps in open containers. *Lubricating oil should be kept in closed metal containers.

Section 12.-*The underground battery-charging stations were installed in the open.

*The underground battery-charging stations should be of fireproof construction. Article XI. Miscellaneous

Section 19.-*The escapeway between 5 and 6 west entries was obstructed with water, and the escapeway between 11 and 12 east entries was obstructed with falls of shale. A squeezed condition between 9 and 10 west entries made this part of the escapeway unsafe and extremely difficult to travel.

« AnteriorContinuar »