Deep cut: ground control and worker safety in coal mines

Braer, E. R. ; Bise, C. J.
Organization: Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration
Pages: 7
Publication Date: Jan 1, 2000
The trend in underground room-and-pillar coal mining is to employ remote-controlled, continuous-mining machines and extended cuts to depths of 12 m (40 ft) or more. This system of coal extraction, adopted by more than 435 mines, can create additional worker safety hazards. To address the ground-control-related safety hazards, a combination of statistical analysis and numerical modeling was used. Initially, the reported roof-fall incidents and fatalities were reviewed to delineate the ground-control hazards. Then, the application of the coal mine roof rating (CMRR) for estimating safe extended-cut depths was evaluated. Finally, computer modeling was completed to predict roof displacements during extended-cut mining. This paper describes the results of these studies and their impacts on the safety of extended-cut mining.
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