Code of Alabama - Title 25: Industrial Relations and Labor - Section 25-9-230 - Face equipment

Section 25-9-230 - Face equipment.

(a) The cutter chains of mining machines shall be locked securely at all times except when the machine is cutting, the chain is being oiled or tested after repairs, or when the chain is moved to spot bits.

(1) When the chain is being oiled or tested after repairs, an operator must be at the controls ready to stop movement of the chain instantly. When the chain is being oiled, the bar must be free of the kerf and of material that might cause it to deflect, the person oiling must position himself before the chain is started, the chain must run in reverse and slowly and must be stopped and the lock replaced immediately after oiling is completed. Oiling devices or other methods that do not expose a workman to hazard from the moving chain may be used.

(2) When the chain is moved to spot bits, all persons must be in the clear of the bar and the lock must be replaced after the chain is moved and before the bits are spotted.

(3) When the chain is operated to test it after repairs, all persons must be in the clear of the bar and the lock must be replaced immediately after testing is completed.

(b) Care must be exercised at all times in the operation of mining and loading machines. Shields must be kept in place. Timbers removed by a cutting or loading crew must be reset or the roof otherwise secured. Care must be exercised to prevent persons not engaged in operation of machines from exposing themselves dangerously near the machines. Operators of machines that are self-tramming or machines that are loaded for tramming shall be alert to clearances and will observe all applicable laws and rules pertaining to haulage or movement of traffic.

(c) Conveyors and duckbills shall be properly installed and operated with care. Timbers removed in installing, moving, or sluicing a conveyor shall be reset promptly or the roof otherwise adequately secured.

(d) Care must be exercised in setting of and working around jack pipes used in operation of mining machines, conveyors, and loading machines.

(e) Operators of shuttle cars will satisfy themselves that brakes are adequate before and during operation and will exercise care to prevent knocking out timbers. They will promptly reset or report timbers unavoidably knocked out, will keep cars under control during operations, and give warning before making turns or passing through curtains or other points of obstructed vision.

(f) Face equipment must be stopped before being lubricated, wiped, or repaired, except as provided in subdivision (a) (1) of this section, and must not be restarted until persons oiling, wiping, or repairing have given a clear signal. This does not apply to lubrication of equipment that is designed or modified so that lubrication may be performed without exposure to moving parts.

(g) The mine foreman and his assistants are responsible that operators of face equipment are trained in the requirements of their work before they are entrusted with operation of face equipment, other than while undergoing training by competent operators.

(h) The mine operator and the mine officials are responsible for seeing that face equipment is adequately maintained as to safe operating conditions. Equipment operators are responsible for exercising reasonable care in the operation of the equipment entrusted to them and for reporting defects known to them.

(i) All junction or distribution boxes used for making multiple power connections inby the last open crosscut shall be permissible.

(j) All handheld electric drills, blower and exhaust fans, electric pumps, and such other low horsepower electric face equipment which are taken into or used inby the last open crosscut of any coal mine shall be permissible.

(k) All other electric face equipment which is taken into or used inby the last open crosscut of any coal mine shall be permissible.

(l) The operator of each coal mine shall maintain in safe condition all permissible type electric face equipment which is taken into or used inby the last open crosscut of any such mine.

(m) Trailing cables used in coal mines shall meet the requirements established for flame-resistant cables.

(n) Short-circuit protection for trailing cables shall be provided by an automatic circuit breaker or other no less effective device, approved by the chief of the division, of adequate current-interrupting capacity in each underground conductor. Disconnecting devices used to disconnect power from trailing cables shall be plainly marked and identified, and such devices shall be equipped or designed in such a manner that it can be determined from visual observation that the power is disconnected.

(o) When two or more trailing cables junction to the same distribution center, means shall be provided to assure against connecting a trailing cable to the wrong size circuit breaker.

(p) One temporary splice may be made in any trailing cable. Such trailing cable may only be used for the next 24-hour period. No temporary splice shall be made in a trailing cable within 25 feet of the machine, except cable reel equipment. Temporary splices in trailing cables shall be made in a workmanlike manner and shall be mechanically strong and well insulated. Trailing cables or hand cables which have exposed wires or which have splices that heat or spark under load shall not be used.

(q) When permanent splices in trailing cables are made, they shall be mechanically strong with adequate electrical conductivity and flexibility, effectively insulated, and sealed so as to exclude moisture and vulcanized or otherwise treated with suitable materials to provide flame-resistant qualities and good bonding to the outer jacket.

(r) Trailing cables shall be clamped to machines in a manner to protect the cables from damage and to prevent strain on the electrical connections. Trailing cables shall be adequately protected to prevent damage by mobile equipment.

(s) Trailing cable and power cable connections to junction boxes shall not be made or broken under load.

(t) All electrical equipment shall be frequently examined, tested, and properly maintained by a qualified person to assure safe operating conditions. When a potentially dangerous condition is found on electrical equipment, such equipment shall be removed from service until such condition is corrected. A record of such examinations shall be kept and made available to an authorized representative of the chief of the division and to the miners in such mine.

(Acts 1949, No. 207, p. 242, §§56, 57; Acts 1975, 4th Ex. Sess., No. 147, p. 2866, §1.)

Last modified: May 3, 2021