Unless the context in which used clearly requires a different meaning, the following definitions apply to this chapter:
(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, driftsor 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 construction thereof.
(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 bureau.
(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" meansexcavation, 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 by law.
(7) Panel: The term "panel" means workings that are or have been developed off of submain entries which do not exceed threethousand 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, whichis 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 employed therein.
(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 specificdesignation 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 triangle.
(7) Effectively grounded: The term "effectively grounded" is an expression which means grounded through a grounding connectionof 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 health administration.
(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 thesefunctions 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 taken.
(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 power system.
(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 system.
(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 powersystem 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 purposes.
Note: WV Code updated with legislation passed through the 2016 Regular Session
The West Virginia Code Online is an unofficial copy of the annotated WV Code, provided as a convenience. It has NOT been edited for publication, and is not in any way official or authoritative.