Senate Bill No. 469
(By Senator Chafin)
[Introduced February 19, 1996; referred to the
Committee on Energy, Industry and Mining.]
A BILL to amend and reenact section two, article one, chapter
twenty-two-a of the code of West Virginia, one thousand nine
hundred thirty-one, as amended, relating to miners' health,
safety and training; and providing that persons qualified as
mine electricians in any state that recognizes certified
electricians licensed in West Virginia are to be recognized
in this state.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That section two, article one, chapter twenty-two-a of the
code of West Virginia, one thousand nine hundred thirty-one, as
amended, be amended and reenacted to read as follows:
ARTICLE 1. OFFICE OF MINERS' HEALTH, SAFETY AND TRAINING;
Unless the context in which used clearly requires a
different meaning, the following definitions apply to this
(1) Accident: The term "accident" means any mine explosion,
mine ignition, mine fire, or mine inundation, or injury to, or
death of any person.
(2) Agent: The term "agent" means any person charged with
responsibility for the operation of all or a part of a mine or
the supervision of the miners in a mine.
(3) Approved: The term "approved" means in strict
compliance with mining law, or, in the absence of law, accepted
by a recognized standardizing body or organization whose approval
is generally recognized as authoritative on the subject.
(4) Face equipment: The term "face equipment" means mobile
or portable mining machinery having electric motors or accessory
equipment normally installed or operated inby the last open
crosscut in an entry or room.
(5) Imminent danger: The term "imminent danger" means the
existence of any condition or practice in a coal mine which could reasonably be expected to cause death or serious physical harm
before such condition or practice can be abated.
(6) Mine: The term "mine" includes the shafts, slopes,
drifts or inclines connected with, or intended in the future to
be connected with, excavations penetrating coal seams or strata,
which excavations are ventilated by one general air current or
divisions thereof, and connected by one general system of mine
haulage over which coal may be delivered to one or more points
outside the mine, and the surface structures or equipment
connected or associated therewith which contribute directly or
indirectly to the mining, preparation or handling of coal, or
(7) Miner: The term "miner" means any individual working in
a coal mine.
(8) Operator: The term "operator" means any firm,
corporation, partnership or individual operating any coal mine,
or part thereof, or engaged in the construction of any facility
associated with a coal mine.
(9) Permissible: The term "permissible" means any
equipment, device or explosive that has been approved as
permissible by the federal mine safety and health administration and/or the United States bureau of mines and meets all
requirements, restrictions, exceptions, limitations and
conditions attached to such classification by that agency or the
(10) Person: The term "person" means any individual,
partnership, association, corporation, firm, subsidiary of a
corporation or other organization.
(11) Work of preparing the coal: The term "work of
preparing the coal" means the breaking, crushing, sizing,
cleaning, washing, drying, mixing, storing and loading of
bituminous coal or lignite and such other work of preparing such
coal as is usually done by the operator of the coal mine.
(b) Office of miners' health, safety and training.
(1) Board of appeals: The term "board of appeals" means as
provided for in article five of this chapter.
(2) Director: The term "director" means the director of the
office of miners' health, safety and training provided for in
section three of this article.
(3) Mine inspector: The term "mine inspector" means a state
mine inspector provided for in section eight of this article.
(4) Mine inspectors' examining board: The term "mine inspectors' examining board" shall mean the mine inspectors'
examining board provided for in article nine of this chapter.
(5) Office: The term "office" means, when referring to a
specific office, the office of miners' health, safety and
training provided for in this article. The term "office", when
used generically, includes any office, board, agency, unit,
organizational entity or component thereof.
(c) Mine areas.
(1) Abandoned workings: The term "abandoned workings" means
excavation, either caved or sealed, that is deserted and in which
further mining is not intended, or open workings which are
ventilated and not inspected regularly.
(2) Active workings: The term "active workings" means all
places in a mine that are ventilated and inspected regularly.
(3) Drift: The term "drift" means a horizontal or
approximately horizontal opening through the strata or in a coal
seam and used for the same purposes as a shaft.
(4) Excavations and workings: The term "excavations and
workings" means any or all parts of a mine excavated or being
excavated, including shafts, slopes, drifts, tunnels, entries,
rooms and working places, whether abandoned or in use.
(5) Inactive workings: The term "inactive workings"
includes all portions of a mine in which operations have been
suspended for an indefinite period, but have not been abandoned.
(6) Mechanical working section: The term "mechanical
working section" means an area of a mine: (A) In which coal is
loaded mechanically; (B) which is comprised of a number of
working places that are generally contiguous, and (C) which is of
such size to permit necessary supervision during shift operation,
including pre-shift and on-shift examinations and tests required
(7) Panel: The term "panel" means workings that are or have
been developed off of submain entries which do not exceed three
thousand feet in length.
(8) Return air: The term "return air" means a volume of air
that has passed through and ventilated all the working places in
a mine section.
(9) Shaft: The term "shaft" means a vertical opening
through the strata that is or may be used for the purpose of
ventilation, drainage and the hoisting and transportation of
individuals and material, in connection with the mining of coal.
(10) Slope: The term "slope" means a plane or incline roadway, usually driven to a coal seam from the surface and used
for the same purposes as a shaft.
(11) Working face: The term "working face" means any place
in a coal mine in which work of extracting coal from its natural
deposit in the earth is performed during the mining cycle.
(12) Working place: The term "working place" means the area
of a coal mine inby the last open crosscut.
(13) Working section: The term "working section" means all
areas of the coal mine from the loading point of the section to
and including the working faces.
(14) Working unit: The term "working unit" means an area of
a mine in which coal is mined with a set of production equipment;
a conventional mining unit by a single loading machine; a
continuous mining unit by a single continuous mining machine,
which is comprised of a number of working places.
(d) Mine personnel.
(1) Assistant mine foreman: The term "assistant mine
foreman" means a certified person designated to assist the mine
foreman in the supervision of a portion or the whole of a mine or
of the persons employed therein.
(2) Certified electrician: The term "certified electrician" means any person who is qualified as a mine electrician and who
has passed an examination given by the office, or has at least
three years of experience in performing electrical work
underground in a coal mine, in the surface work areas of an
underground coal mine, in a surface coal mine, in a noncoal mine,
in the mine equipment manufacturing industry or in any other
industry using or manufacturing similar equipment, and has
satisfactorily completed a coal mine electrical training program
approved by the office or any person who is qualified as a mine
electrician in any state that recognizes certified electricians
licensed in West Virginia.
(3) Certified person: The term "certified person", when
used to designate the kind of person to whom the performance of
a duty in connection with the operation of a mine shall be
assigned, means a person who is qualified under the provisions of
this law to perform such duty.
(4) Interested persons: The term "interested persons"
includes the operator, members of any mine safety committee at
the mine affected and other duly authorized representatives of
the mine workers and the office.
(5) Mine foreman: The term "mine foreman" means the certified person whom the operator or superintendent shall place
in charge of the inside workings of the mine and of the persons
(6) Qualified person: The term "qualified person" means a
person who has completed an examination and is considered
qualified on record by the office.
(7) Shot firer: The term "shot firer" means any person
having had at least two years of practical experience in coal
mines, who has a knowledge of ventilation, mine roof and
timbering, and who has demonstrated his or her knowledge of mine
gases, the use of a flame safety lamp, and other approved
detecting devices by examination and certification given him or
her by the office.
(8) Superintendent: The term "superintendent" means the
person who has, on behalf of the operator, immediate supervision
of one or more mines.
(9) Supervisor: The term "supervisor" means a
superintendent, mine foreman, assistant mine foreman or any
person specifically designated by the superintendent or mine
foreman to supervise work or employees and who is acting pursuant
to such specific designation and instructions.
(1) Armored cable: The term "armored cable" means a cable
provided with a wrapping of metal, usually steel wires or tapes,
primarily for the purpose of mechanical protection.
(2) Borehole cable: The term "borehole cable" means a cable
designed for vertical suspension in a borehole or shaft and used
for power circuits in the mine.
(3) Branch circuit: The term "branch circuit" means any
circuit, alternating current or direct current, connected to and
leading from the main power lines.
(4) Cable: The term "cable" means a standard conductor
(single conductor cable) or a combination of conductors insulated
from one another (multiple conductor cable).
(5) Circuit breaker: The term "circuit breaker" means a
device for interrupting a circuit between separable contacts
under normal or abnormal conditions.
(6) Delta connected: The term "delta connected" means a
power system in which the windings or transformers or a.c.
generators are connected to form a triangular phase relationship,
and with phase conductors connected to each point of the
(7) Effectively grounded: The term "effectively grounded"
is an expression which means grounded through a grounding
connection of sufficiently low impedance (inherent or
intentionally added or both) so that fault grounds which may
occur cannot build up voltages in excess of limits established
for apparatus, circuits or systems so grounded.
(8) Flame-resistant cable, portable: The term "flame-
resistant cable, portable" means a portable flame-resistant cable
that has passed the flame tests of the federal mine safety and
(9) Ground or grounding conductor (mining): The term
"ground or grounding conductor (mining)", also referred to as a
safety ground conductor, safety ground and frame ground, means a
metallic conductor used to connect the metal frame or enclosure
of any equipment, device or wiring system with a mine track or
other effective grounding medium.
(10) Grounded (earthed): The term "grounded (earthed)"
means that the system, circuit or apparatus referred to is
provided with a ground.
(11) High voltage: The term "high voltage" means voltages
of more than one thousand volts.
(12) Lightning arrestor: The term "lightning arrestor"
means a protective device for limiting surge voltage on equipment
by discharging or by passing surge current; it prevents continued
flow of follow current to ground and is capable of repeating
these functions as specified.
(13) Low voltage: The term "low voltage" means up to and
including six hundred sixty volts.
(14) Medium voltage: The term "medium voltage" means
voltages from six hundred sixty-one to one thousand volts.
(15) Mine power center or distribution center: The term
"mine power center or distribution center" means a combined
transformer or distribution unit, complete within a metal
enclosure from which one or more low-voltage power circuits are
(16) Neutral (derived): The term "neutral (derived)" means
a neutral point or connection established by the addition of a
"zig-zag" or grounding transformer to a normally underground
(17) Neutral point: The term "neutral point" means the
connection point of transformer or generator windings from which
the voltage to ground is nominally zero, and is the point generally used for system groundings in wye-connected a.c. power
(18) Portable (trailing) cable: The term "portable
(trailing) cable" means a flexible cable or cord used for
connecting mobile, portable or stationary equipment in mines to
a trolley system or other external source of electric energy
where permanent mine wiring is prohibited or is impracticable.
(19) Wye-connected: The term "wye-connected" means a power
system connection in which one end of each phase windings or
transformers or a.c. generators are connected together to form a
neutral point, and a neutral conductor may or may not be
connected to the neutral point, and the neutral point may or may
not be grounded.
(20) Zig-zag transformer (grounding transformer): The term
"zig-zag transformer (grounding transformer)" means a transformer
intended primarily to provide a neutral point for grounding
(NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to provide that persons
qualified as mine electricians in any state that recognizes
certified electricians licensed in West Virginia are to be
recognized in this state.
Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken
from the present law, and underscoring indicates new language
that would be added.)