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The 1 west south haulage road was clean, but large accumulations of coal spillage and debris are present on most of the other haulage roads. The clearance side along most of the haulage roads in the mine is obstructed by road cleanings and gob material, and only a few shelter holes are provided along the haulageways. Small boards are used on the rear end of trips instead of trip lights, and trips of cars are pushed a long distance on intermediate haulage roads.

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

2. 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 moving equipment.

3. Clearance along haulageways should not be obstructed by road cleanings, gob, rock, and other materials.

4. Shelter holes should be provided along all haulageways at 60-foot intervals.

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

6. Pushing of cars should be eliminated insofar as possible; trips should not be pushed on main haulageway's except at partings or in an emergency.


All of the underground employees and officials, except the superintendent and the mine examiners, use open-flame carbide lights for illumination.

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

UNDERGROUND-GENERAL All of the underground employees wear safety hats, and 95 percent of the men wear safety-toe shoes; this is a considerable improvement in the number of men wearing safety-toe shoes. Haulagemen and men working around machinery wear loose-fitting clothing. The failure of men to wear goggles or eye shields when doing work that required their use resulted in 13 lost-time eye injuries during the year 1945. Smoking is permitted in the mine.

Accumulations of waste paper were noted at a number of places in the mine.

1. Safety-toe shoes should be worn by all employees and others while on duty in and around the mine.

2. Haulagemen and others who work around machinery should wear snugly fitting clothing and have trouser legs tucked inside socks or otherwise fastened.

3. Men should wear goggles or eye shields when exposed to hazards of flying particles.

4. The practice of smoking in the mine should be prohibited, as it presents a definite gas-ignition and fire hazard.

5. The accumulations of waste paper should be removed from the mine, as it constitutes a fire hazard.


A wetting solution is used to allay the coal dust at the dumping point in the tipple; however, it does not appear to be very effective as considerable coal dust was in suspension during dumping operations. The open-type electric motors and starting switches in the tipple have not been replaced with motors of dust-tight construction, and provisions have not been made to remove the coal dust from the floors and the motors in the tipple regularly.

Well-constructed guards have been provided for the cutting shears and drill press drive belts in the shop on the surface, but a number of machinery drive belts in the surface and underground shops, and several sprockets and gears in the tipple are still unguarded.

1. The coal dust in the tipple should be removed by an air exhaust system with dust-collecting hoods placed at principal sources of dust.

2. The open-type electric motors and starting switches in the tipple should be replaced with motors and starting switches of dust-tight construction.

3. The coal dust should be removed 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.

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

CAGES AND OTHER HOISTING EQUIPMENT Two efficient electric lights have been installed at the ground landing to the shaft so as to provide adequate illumination for the men getting on and off the cages; this is a commendable safety improvement.

The sides of the cages are not enclosed fully, and safety gates are not provided across the open ends ofthe cages when men are hoisted and lowered.

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


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

1. A safety director or safety engineer 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 and unsafe practices, and to devise ways and means of preventing accidents.

The State mine inspector, officials, and employees extended full cooperation and assistance during the 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 June 5, 1946)

CENTRALIA, ILL., COAL MINE INSPECTED In reviewing safety conditions observed recently at the Centralia Coal Co.'s No. 5 mine, at Centralia, in Marion County, 111., a Federal coal mine inspector has offered numerous recommendations designed to increase protection for life and property, the Bureau of Mines disclosed today in releasing a detailed safety summary. The mine employed 251 men and averaged 1,964 tons of coal daily when it was visited some weeks ago by Inspector Frank Perz.

Bureau analyses of air samples again disclosed sufficient explosive gas to warrant a "gassy'' rating. Perz said in suggesting compliance with Bureau standards for "gassy" mines, including approved preshift examinations, tests for explosive gas before and after blasting, and before and during the operation of nonpermissible electrical equipment underground, replacement of openflame cap lamps with permissible electric cap lamps, and a ban on smoking in the mine.

Although Inspector Perz cited some improvements effected since a previous inspection in July 1945, he emphasized the need for more corrective measures, among which were more extensive timbering under a systematic plan, frequent roof testing in an approved manner, safer storage and handling of blasting supplies, added precautions when multiple blasts are practiced, more effective face ventilation, and consideration of a split system of air coursing throughout the mine, control of coal dust, elimination of unsafe haulage practices and sub standard conditions, frame grounds and other safeguards for electrical equipment, guards or shields for exposed mechanical equipment, universal wearing of safety apparel, joint safety meetings of workers and officials, annual training of employees in first-aid methods, and retraining of mine-rescue crews.

Among recent betterments cited by the inspector were exclusive use and good maintenance of permissible flame safety lamps for gas testing, adequate illumination at the shaft landing, deenergizing of electrical equipment before explosives are taken to faces, removal of roof falls from part of the main intake air course, wearing of permissible electric cap lamps by the mine examiners, insulated supports for some trolley wires, safer installation of some power cables, guards for exposed shop equipment, increased underground fire protection, additional employees wearing safety-toe footwear, and State certification of section foreman,

Beneficial changes at the No. 5 mine were attributed to company initiative, employee cooperation, compliance with orders of State inspectors, and adoption of Bureau recommendations.

Copies of the report 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 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.


A new superintendent, H. C. Niermann, of Centralia, Ill., is in charge of the mine. The No. 5 mine is located 2 miles south of Centralia, Marion County, m. It is opened by two wood-lined shafts and is developed in the Illinois No. 6 coal bed, which averages 76 inches in thickness in this mine. A total of 266 men was employed, of which number 160 worked underground on the day shift, and 48 on the night shift. The average daily production was 2,159 tons of coal. All coal was undercut by means of shortwall 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 gas to be present in excess of 0.25 percent during previous inspections.



Section 10.-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 10.-Excessive accumulations of coal dust were present throughout the tipple.

The tipple should be kept free of coal-dust accumulations. Section 30.-—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 1a.-The timbering system adopted at this mine was not being carried out in a number of working places in the 13 north and 14 north sections off 1 west south.

The minimum standards of timbering should be complied with in all working places in the mine. 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 working an ample supply of timber of proper size with which to timber all working places in a

safe manner. Section 20.--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 154.-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 ha.—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 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 38.-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 5a.-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 69.-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 98 and 90.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.


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 16.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 2d.-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.

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