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|The accuracy of vibrating wire stress meters has been questioned by various users in the mining industry. During an in situ coal pillar study, a laboratory evaluation program was developed to determine whether stress meters could produce reliable measurements in coal. More than $0 stress meters were tested for accuracy, repeatability, effects of setting pressure, and the concept of using a single curve for interpreting the stress-meter data. The testing medium was lucite, a material with a modulus of elasticity very similar to coal. The evaluation demonstrated that the stress meters did provide repeatable measurements, but that accuracy was lacking when the recommended interpretation technique was used. Therefore, a new technique was developed that required all stress meters to be calibrated in the laboratory before use in the field. This new technique reduced the average error to typically less than 10% and, in the worst case, to below 15%.|