Senate Bill No. 557
(By Senator Plymale)
[Introduced February 19, 1996; referred to the Committee
on Energy, Industry and Mining.]
A BILL to amend and reenact section thirty-seven, article two,
chapter twenty-two-a of the code of West Virginia, one
thousand nine hundred thirty-one, as amended, relating to
mines and minerals; underground mines; deleting references
to animal haulage; and authorizing the use of diesel powered
equipment underground under certain conditions.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That section thirty-seven, article two, 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
ARTICLE 2. UNDERGROUND MINES.
§22A-2-37. Haulage roads and equipment; shelter holes;
prohibited practices; signals; inspection.
(a) The roadbed, rails, joints, switches, frogs and other
elements of all haulage roads shall be constructed, installed and
maintained in a manner consistent with speed and type of haulage
operations being conducted to ensure safe operation. Where
transportation of personnel is exclusively by rail, track shall
be maintained to within five hundred feet of the nearest working
face, except that when any section is fully developed and being
prepared for retreating, then the distance of such maintenance
can be extended to eight hundred feet if a rubber tired vehicle
is readily available.
(b) Track switches, except room and entry development
switches, shall be provided with properly installed throws,
bridle bars and guard rails; switch throws and stands, where
possible, shall be placed on the clearance side.
(c) Haulage roads on entries developed after the effective
date of this article shall have a continuous, unobstructed
clearance of at least twenty-four inches from the farthest
projection of any moving equipment on the clearance side.
(d) On haulage roads where trolley lines are used, the
clearance shall be on the side opposite the trolley lines.
(e) On the trolley wire or "tight" side, after the effective
date of this article, there shall be at least twelve inches of
clearance from the farthest projection of any moving equipment.
(f) Warning lights or reflective signs or tapes shall be
installed along haulage roads at locations of abrupt or sudden
changes in the overhead clearance.
(g) The clearance space on all haulage roads shall be kept
free of loose rock, coal, supplies or other material:
That not more than twenty-four inches need be kept free of such
(h) Ample clearance shall be provided at all points where
supplies are loaded or unloaded along haulage roads or conveyors,
which in no event shall be less than twenty-four inches.
(i) Shelter holes shall be provided along haulage entries
driven after the effective date of this article where locomotive
or animal haulage is used. Such shelter holes shall be
spaced not more than one hundred feet apart, except when
variances are authorized by the director with unanimous agreement
of the mine safety and technical review committee. Shelter holes shall be on the side of the entry opposite the trolley wire
except that shelter holes may be on the trolley wire and feeder
wire side if the trolley wire and feeder wire are guarded in a
manner approved by the director.
(j) Shelter holes made after the effective date of this
article, unless the director with unanimous agreement of the mine
safety and technical review committee grants a waiver, shall be
at least five feet in depth, not more than four feet in width,
and as high as the traveling space. Room necks and crosscuts may
be used as shelter holes even though their width exceeds four
(k) Shelter holes shall be kept clear of refuse and other
(l) After the effective date of this article, shelter holes
shall be provided at switch throws and manually operated
(m) No steam locomotive shall be used in mines where miners
are actually employed in the extraction of coal, but this shall
not prevent operation of a steam locomotive through any tunnel
haulway or part of a mine that is not in actual operation and
(n) Underground equipment powered by internal combustion
engines using petroleum products, alcohol, or any other compound
shall not be used in a coal mine. Notwithstanding the provisions
of section thirty-seven of this article, diesel powered equipment
or mining machines may be used in an underground coal mine, if:
(1) That equipment or mining machines meet applicable
requirements of the mine safety and health administration of the
United States department of labor; (2) the equipment or mining
machines are maintained in a manner that the exhaust emissions
and operation of the safety devices meet the requirements of the
mine safety and health administration of the United States
department of labor; and (3) the equipment is operated and
maintained in accordance with applicable requirements promulgated
by the mine safety and health administration of the United States
department of labor. Within ninety days from the effective date
of this section, the director of the office of miners health,
safety and training shall adopt and promulgate, as administrative
rules, existing federal standards and requirements promulgated by
the mine safety and health administration governing the operation
and maintenance of diesel equipment. The director shall
continuously update these rules as changes are lawfully promulgated in the corresponding provisions of the federal
(o) Locomotives, personnel carriers, mine cars, supply cars,
shuttle cars, and all other haulage equipment shall be maintained
in a safe operating condition. Each locomotive, personnel
carrier, barrier tractor and other related equipment shall be
equipped with a suitable lifting jack and handle. An audible
warning device and headlights shall be provided on each
locomotive and each shuttle car. All other mobile equipment,
using the face areas of the mine, purchased after the effective
date of this article, shall be provided with a conspicuous light
or other approved device so as to reduce the possibility of
(p) No persons other than those necessary to operate a trip
or car shall ride on any loaded car or on the outside of any car.
Where pusher locomotives are not used, the locomotive operator
shall have an assistant to assist him in his duties.
(q) The pushing of trips, except for switching purposes, is
prohibited on main haulage roads: Provided, That nothing herein
shall prohibit the use of a pusher locomotive to assist the
locomotive pulling a trip. Motormen and trip riders shall use care in handling locomotives and cars. It shall be their duty to
see that there is a conspicuous light on the front and rear of
each trip or train of cars when in motion: Provided, however,
That trip lights need not be used on cars being shifted to and
from loading machines, or on cars being handled at loading heads
during gathering operations at working faces.
or on trips being
pulled by animals No person except the operator or his assistant
shall ride on locomotives or loaded cars. An empty car or cars
shall be used to provide a safe distance between the locomotive
and the material car when rail, pipe or long timbers are being
hauled. A safe clearance shall be maintained between the end car
or trips placed on side tracks and moving traffic. On haulage
roads the clearance point shall be marked with an approved
(r) No motorman, trip rider or brakeman shall get on or off
cars, trips or locomotives while they are in motion, except that
a trip rider or brakeman may get on or off the rear end of a
slowly moving trip or the stirrup of a slowly moving locomotive
to throw a switch, align a derail or open or close a door.
(s) Flying or running switches and riding on the front
bumper of a car or locomotive are prohibited. Back poling shall be prohibited except with precaution to the nearest turning point
(not over eighty feet), or when going up extremely steep grades
and then only at slow speed. The operator of a shuttle car shall
face in the direction of travel except during the loading
operation when he shall face the loading machine.
(t) (1) A system of signals, methods or devices shall be
used to provide protection for trips, locomotives and other
equipment coming out onto tracks used by other equipment.
(2) In any coal mine where more than three hundred fifty
tons of coal are produced on any shift in each twenty-four hour
period, a dispatcher shall be on duty when there are movements of
track equipment underground, including time when there is no
production of coal. Such traffic shall move only at the
direction of the dispatcher.
(3) The dispatcher's only duty shall be to direct traffic:
That the dispatcher's duties may also include those of
the responsible person required by section forty-two of this
article: Provided, however, That the dispatcher may perform
other duties which do not interfere with his dispatching
responsibilities and do not require him to leave the dispatcher's
station except as approved by the mine safety and technical review committee.
(4) Any dispatcher's station provided after the effective
date of this article shall be on the surface.
(5) All self-propelled track equipment shall be equipped
with two-way communications.
(u) Motormen shall inspect locomotives, and report any
mechanical defects found to the proper supervisor before a
locomotive is put in operation.
(v) A locomotive following another trip shall maintain a
distance of at least three hundred feet from the rear end of the
trip ahead, unless such locomotive is coupled to the trip ahead.
(w) Positive stopblocks or derails shall be installed on all
tracks near the top and at landings of shafts, slopes and surface
inclines. Positive-acting stopblocks or derails shall be used
where necessary to protect persons from danger of runaway haulage
(x) Shuttle cars shall not be altered by the addition of
sideboards so as to inhibit the view of the operator.
(y) Mining equipment shall not be parked within fifteen feet
of a check curtain or fly curtain.
(z) All self-propelled track haulage equipment shall be equipped with an emergency stop switch, self centering valves, or
other devices designed to deenergize the traction motor circuit
in the event of an emergency: Provided, That such equipment in
operation in a mine on or before the first day of January, one
thousand nine hundred eighty-seven, shall not be required to be
retrofitted. On or before the first day of January, one thousand
nine hundred eighty-seven, all
track mounted trolley-powered
equipment shall be equipped with trolley pole swing limiters or
other means approved by the mine safety and technical review
committee to restrict movement of the trolley pole when it is
disengaged from the trolley wire. Battery powered mobile
equipment shall have the operating controls clearly marked to
distinguish the forward and reverse positions.
NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to update and revise the
haulage and transportation systems for underground mines by
deleting references to animal haulages and by authorizing the use
of diesel powered equipment in underground mining consistent with
the federal requirements adopted by the Mine Health and Safety
Administration, U.S. Department of Labor.
Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken
from the present law, and underscoring indicates new language
that would be added.