H. B. 4355
(By Delegates Caputo, Tucker, Kuhn,
Butcher, Linch, Boggs and Sparks)
[Introduced February 2, 2000; referred to the
Committee on the Judiciary.]
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
requiring that where trolley wire is used in a mine, it must
be maintained to within five hundred feet of the nearest
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 follows:
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
(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 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, there shall be at
least twelve inches of clearance from the farthest projection of any moving equipment. Where trolley wire is used, it must be
maintained to within five hundred feet of the nearest working face.
(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: Provided, 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.
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 shall be at least five feet in depth, not more than four feet in width, and as high as the traveling space,
unless the director with unanimous agreement of the mine safety and
technical review committee grants a waiver. Room necks and
crosscuts may be used as shelter holes even though their width
exceeds four feet.
(k) Shelter holes shall be kept clear of refuse and other
(l) Shelter holes shall be provided at switch throws and
manually operated permanent doors.
(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 producing
(n) Underground equipment powered by internal combustion
engines using petroleum products, alcohol or any other compound
shall not be used in a coal mine, unless the equipment is
diesel-powered equipment approved, operated and maintained as
provided in article two-a of this chapter.
(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,
shall be provided with a conspicuous light or other approved device
so as to reduce the possibility of collision.
(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 or her in his or her 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. No person except the operator or his or her 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 device.
(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
or she 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
(3) The dispatcher's only duty shall be to direct traffic:
Provided, 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 or her dispatching
responsibilities and do not require him or her to leave the
dispatcher's station except as approved by the mine safety and
technical review committee.
(4) Any dispatcher's station shall be on the surface.
(5) All self-propelled track equipment shall be equipped with
(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 stop blocks or derails shall be installed on all
tracks near the top and at landings of shafts, slopes and surface
inclines. Positive-acting stop blocks 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 de-energize the traction motor circuit in
the event of an emergency. All track mounted trolley 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 require that where trolley
wire is used in a mine, it must be maintained to within five
hundred feet of the nearest working face.
Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken from
the present law, and underscoring indicates new language that would