Automated Temporary Roof Support Systems: An Update

Gray, William
Organization: International Conference on Ground Control in Mining
Pages: 6
Publication Date: Jan 1, 1998
It has been ten years since the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) promulgated a safety standard requiring the use of Automated Temporary Roof Support (ATRS) systems in underground coal mines. The use of ATRS systems with roof bolting machines and continuous miners equipped with integral bolters has all but eliminated fatal roof fall accidents associated with manually setting temporary roof support. The last ten years have seen an evolution of the ATRS systems themselves and of MSHA's policy regarding ATRS systems. These changes are a response to operational and safety issues regarding ATRS systems often brought about by the ever-changing coal mining environment. As a result, MSHA's Technical Support personnel receive numerous inquiries from all segments of the coal mining industry on various ATRS topics. These requests for technical assistance range from an interpretation of a facet of the ATRS standard to an in-depth evaluation of a prototype ATRS system. This paper will address the aforementioned evolution of ATRS systems and will also summarize the factors MSHA Technical Support uses to evaluate these systems in the field. In addition, some of the more common misconceptions regarding the design, use, and regulatory requirements regarding ATRS systems will be covered.
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