Improving Roof Bolter Safety - Preprint 09-024
Organization: Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration
Jan 1, 2009
Automated temporary roof support (ATRS) systems have been incorporated into roof bolters since the 1970's. During roof bolting, many injuries have occurred from large pieces of draw rock falling inby the ATRS beam and tipping back into the operator's area. Other injuries have occurred due to smaller, sharp rocks falling onto the operator's hand and arm during initiation of roof bolt drilling. These injuries are attributed to weak immediate roof, sometimes called roof skin failure. Even though ATRS systems support the roof and provide a measure of protection against roof skin failure, additional hazards sometimes do exist immediately inby and outby the supported roof. Design innovations such as the ATRS mounted rocker pad deflector systems have been designed to improve the roof bolter operator safety. This paper will inform the reader of the hazards, machine evolution through different design solutions, and the current state of the art in preventing roof skin failure injuries when roof bolting.