Code of Alabama - Title 25: Industrial Relations and Labor - Section 25-9-210 - Hoist engineers; signal codes, etc.; safety features of cages, hoist engines, hoist ropes, and hoist shafts; hoisting of tools, timber, animals, etc

Section 25-9-210 - Hoist engineers; signal codes, etc.; safety features of cages, hoist engines, hoist ropes, and hoist shafts; hoisting of tools, timber, animals, etc.

(a) Only competent engineers shall be placed in charge of or permitted to operate any engine used for conveying into and hoisting out of any coal mine. When men are being lowered or hoisted, an additional engineer competent to act in emergencies shall be present at the hoist controls. At all times when men are in the mine, a competent hoist engineer shall be available to receive notice or signals requiring his presence at the hoist engine controls. No engineer shall be required for automatically operated cages, elevators, or platforms.

(1) Only authorized persons shall enter the hoist engine room and no person shall interfere with or intimidate the hoist engineer in the discharge of his duties. No person shall speak to the hoist engineer while the engine is in motion, except to give signals to him. This subdivision shall be posted on the door of each hoist engine house.

(2) Assigned and relief hoist engineers shall be given and required to take annual physical examinations to ascertain that no disability or infirmity has arisen that might expose others to hazards. No hoist engineer shall be removed as a result of a physical examination unless it is recommended by the examining doctor and it is established that his physical condition renders continued employment as hoist engineer potentially hazardous to lives and/or property.

(b) There shall be a dependable method of signaling, audible to the hoist engineer, from all landings in shafts and slopes. Signal codes, approved by the division, shall be used and posted prominently in the engine house and at all places where signals are given.

(c) Cages used for lowering and hoisting men shall have the following safety features:

(1) Approved safety catches, which shall at all times be kept in good working condition.

(2) Suitable covers of sheet iron or equivalent covers, at least one fourth of an inch thick, or its equivalent, and hinged to open upward.

(3) Bars or rings in sufficient numbers and so located that every person permitted on the cage will have a secure handhold.

(4) Bridle chains attached to the main hoisting rope above the socket, from the top crosspiece of the carriage or cage, so that no single chain may be used for lowering or hoisting persons.

(5) Automatic self-detaching hooks, unless the hoisting engine be equipped with automatic stopping device, effective to prevent overwinding.

(6) Secure floor or platform that will not tip or dump or effective locking device to prevent tipping or dumping, kept locked whenever men or supplies are being lowered or hoisted.

(7) Floor adequate to carry the load and constructed so that it will be impossible for a person's foot or body to enter any opening in the floor.

(8) Enclosed sides and gates, safety chains or bars across the ends of the cage.

(9) Daily inspection and a written record kept. A test of safety catches and of rope attachments shall be made on each inspection by the division in a manner approved by the chief, and results shall be noted in the report of inspection.

(d) Hoist engines shall have the following safety features:

(1) Adequate brakes capable of stopping and holding the fully loaded unbalanced cage or trip at any point in the shaft, slope, or on the incline.

(2) An accurate and reliable indicator showing the position of the cage or trip shall be placed in clear view of the engineer.

(3) When men are being lowered or hoisted, the maximum speed shall not exceed 900 feet per minute.

(4) One round trip shall be made not more than one-half hour before hoisting or lowering men. Chainer may ride this check trip in slope hoisting.

(5) Inspected daily by a designated competent person and a record made of inspections.

(e) Hoist ropes shall have the following safety features:

(1) Adequate size to handle the load and a proper factor of safety as defined in the American Standards Association wire rope standards, and shall be replaced when use becomes dangerous as determined by inspection.

(2) The rope shall have at least three full turns on the drum when extended to its maximum working length and shall make at least one full turn on the drum shaft or around the spoke of the drum (in case of a free drum) and be fastened securely by means of clamps or other means approved by the chief of the division.

(3) The hoisting rope shall be fastened to its load by a zinc-filled socket, thimbles, and clamps or other means approved by the chief of the division.

(4) Ropes shall be examined daily by a competent person and replaced when necessary. A record shall be made of all inspections showing condition of ropes and fastenings. Hoist ropes in shafts shall be kept well lubricated.

(f) Hoist shafts shall have the following features:

(1) All landings shall be kept clear and free from loose materials, and shall be securely fenced with automatic or other gates to prevent men or materials from falling into the shaft.

(2) At the bottom of each hoisting shaft and at all intermediate landings, a "run-around" shall be provided for safe passage from one side of the shaft to the other so that men or animals are not required to pass under or across the cage. This passageway shall not be less than five feet in height and three feet in width.

(3) Positive stop blocks or derails shall be placed near all shaft landings.

(4) An attendant shall be on duty at the surface when men are being hoisted or lowered at the beginning and end of each operating shift and when men are working in the shaft. Where automatic elevators or cages are used, no attendants shall be required at the elevator or cage stations.

(5) Persons engaged in deepening a shaft in which hoisting from an upper level is going on shall be protected from the danger of falling material by a suitable covering extending over the whole area of the shaft, sufficient openings being left in the covering for the passage of men or a bucket or other conveyance used in the sinking operations. No hoisting shall be done in any compartment of a shaft while repairs are being made in that compartment, except such hoisting as is necessary in order to make such repairs.

(g) No person shall ride upon a cage, elevator, skip, or bucket that is loaded with tools, timber, powder, coal rock, or other material except as follows:

(1) When tools and supplies are required for repairs to the shaft, or when a rider is required to assist in passing materials through a shaft or incline. In those cases a special signal must be used and extra care exercised by the hoist engineer.

(2) When hand tools or small amounts of supplies are carried by workmen in one hand, leaving the other free to hold onto the bar or ring provided.

(h) When tools, timber, or other materials are loaded so that their ends project above, they shall be securely fastened to the hoisting rope or to the upper part of the cage, skip, or bucket.

(i) No coal or rock shall be hoisted in any shaft while men are being lowered.

(j) No person shall ride on a cage containing a loaded car or on a single deck cage with an empty car.

(k) When a bucket is used for hoisting, safety hooks must be used and adequate means must be employed to control the bucket against spinning or excessive swinging.

(l) No driver or other person shall be permitted to descend or ascend a shaft with any horse or mule, unless the said horse or mule is secured in a suitable box or safely penned, and only the driver in charge of said horse or mule and such assistants as he may need shall accompany it in any case.

(m) Workmen repairing shafts or tipples shall use safety belts when they are exposed to hazards of falls.

(Acts 1949, No. 207, p. 242, §49; Acts 1975, 4th Ex. Sess., No. 147, p. 2866, §1.)

Last modified: May 3, 2021