(1) Surface installations generally. -- Surface installations, all general mine structures, enclosures and other facilities, including custom coal preparation facilities shall be maintained in good condition. In unusually dusty locations, electric motors, switches and controls shall be of dust-tight construction, or enclosed with reasonable dust-tight housings or enclosures. Openings in surface installations through which men or material may fall shall be protected by railings, barriers, covers or other protective devices. Illumination sufficient to provide safe working conditions shall be provided in and on all surface structures, paths, walkways, switch panels, loading and dumping sites, working areas and parking areas. Materials shall be stored and/or stacked in a manner to prevent stumbling or falling. Compressed and liquid gas cylinders shall be secured in a safe manner. Adequate ventilation shall be provided in tipples and preparation plants. Coal dust in or around tipples or cleaning plants shall not be permitted to exist or accumulate in dangerous amounts.
(2) Machinery guards. -- Gears, sprockets, chains, drive head, tail and takeup pulleys, flywheels, couplings, shafts, sawblades, fan inlets and similar exposed moving machine parts with which persons may come in contact shall be guarded adequately. Except when testing is necessary, machinery guards shall be secured in place while being operated. Belt rollers shall not be cleaned while belts are in motion.
(3) Fire protection. -- Where cutting or welding is performed at any location, a means of prompt extinguishment of any fire accidentally started shall be provided. Adequate fire-fighting facilities, required by the office of miners' health, safety and training, shall be provided on all floors. At least two exits shall be provided for every floor of tipples and cleaning plants constructed after the effective date of this section. Signs warning against smoking and open flames shall be posted so they can be readily seen in areas or places where fire or explosion hazards exist. Smoking or an open flame in or about surface structures shall be restricted to locations where it will not cause fire or an explosion.
(4) Repairs of machinery. -- Machinery shall not be lubricated or repaired while in motion, except where safe remote lubricating devices are used. Machinery shall not be started until the person lubricating or repairing it has given a clear signal. Means and methods shall be provided to assure that structures and the immediate area surrounding the same shall be reasonably free of coal dust accumulations. Where repairs are made to tipples, or cleaning plants, proper scaffolding and proper overhead protection shall be provided for workmen when necessary. Where overhead repair work is being performed at surface installations, adequate protection shall be provided for all persons working or passing below.
(5) Stairs, platforms, etc. -- Stairways, elevated platforms and runways shall be equipped with handrails. Railroad car trimmer platforms are exempted from such requirements. Where required, elevated platforms and stairways shall be provided with toeboards. They shall be kept clear of refuse and ice and maintained in good condition.
(6) Belts, etc. -- Drive belts shall not be shifted while in motion unless such machines are provided with mechanical shifters. Belt dressing shall not be applied while in motion. Belts, chains and ropes shall not be guided into power-driven moving pulleys, sprockets or drums with the hand except with equipment especially designed for hand feeding.
(7) Conveyors and crossovers. -- When the entire length of a conveyor is visible from the starting switch, the operator shall visually check to make certain that all persons are in the clear before starting the conveyor. When the entire length of the conveyor is not visible from the starting switch, a positive audible or visible warning system shall be installed and operated to warn persons when the conveyor will be started. Crossoversshall be provided where necessary to cross conveyors. All crossovers shall be of substantial construction, with rails, and maintained in good condition. Moving conveyors shall be crossed only at designated crossover points. A positive audible or visible warning system shall be installed and operated to warn persons that a conveyor or other tipple equipment is to be started. Pulleys of conveyors shall not be cleaned manually while the conveyor is in operation. Guards, nets or other suitable protection shall be provided where tramways pass over roadways, walkways or buildings. Where it is required to cross under a belt, adequate means shall be taken to prohibit a person from making contact with a moving part.
(8) Ladders. -- All ladders shall be securely fastened. Permanent ladders more than ten feet in height shall be provided with backguards. Ladders shall be of substantial construction and maintained in good condition. Wooden ladders shall not be painted. Fixed ladders shall not incline backward at any point unless equipped with backguards. Fixed ladders shall be anchored securely and installed with at least three inches of toe clearance. Side rails of fixed ladders shall project at least three feet above landings, or substantial handholds shall be provided above the landing. No person shall be permitted to work off of the top step of any ladder. Metal ladders shall not be used with electrical work, where there is danger of the ladder coming into contact with power lines or an electrical conductor. The maximum length of a step ladder shall be twenty feet and an extension ladder sixty feet.
(9) Hoisting. -- Hitches and slings used to hoist materials shall be suitable for handling the type of material being hoisted. Persons shall stay clear of hoisted loads. Tag lines shall be attached to hoisted materials that require steadying or guidance. A hoist shall not lift loads greater than the rated capacity of the hoist being used.
(10) Railroad track construction and maintenance. --
(a) All parts of the track haulage road under the ownership or control of the operator shall be strictly constructed and maintained. Rails shall be secured at all points by means of plates or welds. When plates are used, plates conforming with the weight of the rail shall be installed and broken plates shall be replaced immediately. Appropriate bolts shall be inserted and maintained in all bolt holes. The appropriate number of bolts conforming with the appropriate rail plate for the weight of the rail shall be inserted, tightly secured, and maintained.
(b) All points shall be installed and maintained so as to prevent bad connections. Varying weights of rail shall not be joined without proper adapters. Tracks shall be blocked and leveled and so maintained so as to prevent high and low joints.
(c) Tracks shall be gauged so as to conform with the track mounted equipment. Curves shall not be constructed so sharp as to put significant pressure on the tracks of the track-mounted equipment.
(d) Severely worn or damaged rails and ties shall be replaced immediately.
(e) When mining operations are performed within any twenty-four hour period, operations shall be inspected at least every twenty-four hours to assure safe operation and compliance with the law and rules. The results of which inspection shall be recorded.
(f) Personnel who are required frequently and regularly to travel on belts or chain conveyors extended to heights of more than ten feet shall be provided with adequate space and protection in order that they may work safely. Permanent ladders extending more than ten feet shall be provided with back guards. Walkways around thickeners that are less than four feet above the walkway shall be adequately guarded. Employees required to work over thickener shall wear a safety harness adequately secured, unless walkways or other suitable safety devices are provided.
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.