§22A-2-36. Hoisting machinery; telephones; safety devices; hoisting engineers and drum runners.
(a) The operator of every coal mine worked by shaft shall provide and maintain a metal tube, telephone or other approved means of communication from the top to the bottom and intermediate landings of such shafts, suitably adapted to the free passage of sound, through which conversation may be held between persons at the top and at the bottom of the shaft; a standard means of signaling; an approved safety catch, bridle chains, automatic stopping device, or automatic overwind; a sufficient cover overhead on every cage used for lowering or hoisting persons; an approved safety gate at the top of the shaft; and an adequate brake on the drum of every machine used to lower or hoist persons in such shaft. Such operator shall have the machinery used for lowering and hoisting persons into or out of the mine kept in safe condition, equipped with a reliable indicator, and inspected once in each twenty-four hours by a qualified electrician. Where a hoisting engineer is required, he or she shall be readily available at all times when men are in the mine. He or she shall operate the empty cage up and down the shaft at least one round trip at the beginning of each shift, and after the hoist has been idle for one hour or more before hoisting or lowering men; there shall be cut out around the side of the hoisting shaft or driven through the solid strata at the bottom thereof, a traveling way, not less than five feet high and three feet wide to enable a person to pass the shaft in going from one side of it to the other without passing over or under the cage or other hoisting apparatus. Positive stop blocks or derails shall be placed near the top and at all intermediate landings of slopes and surface inclines and at approaches to all shaft landings. A waiting station with sufficient room, ample clearance from moving equipment, and adequate seating facilities shall be provided where men are required to wait for man trips or man cages, and the miners shall remain in such station until the man trip or man cage is available.
(b) No operator of any coal mine worked by shaft, slope or incline, shall place in charge of any engine or drum used for lowering or hoisting persons employed in such mine any but competent and sober engineers or drum runners; and no engineer or drum runner in charge of such machinery shall allow any person, except such as may be designated for this purpose by the operator, to interfere with any part of the machinery; and no person shall interfere with any part of the machinery; and no person shall interfere with or intimidate the engineer or drum runner in the discharge of his or her duties. Where the mine is operated or worked by shaft or slope, a minimum space of two and one-half square feet per person shall be available for each person on any cage or car where men are transported. In no instance shall more than twenty miners be transported on a cage or car without the approval of the director. No person shall ride on a loaded cage or car in any shaft, slope, or incline: Provided, That this does not prevent any trip rider from riding in the performance of his or her authorized duties. No engineer is required for automatically operated cages, elevators, or platforms. Cages and elevators shall have an emergency power source unless provided with other escapeway facilities.
(c) Each automatic elevator shall be provided with a telephone or other effective communication system by which aid or assistance can be obtained promptly.
(d) A "stop" switch shall be provided in the automatic elevator compartment that will permit the elevator to be stopped at any location in the shaft.
Note: WV Code updated with legislation passed through the 2015 Regular Session
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