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Electronic Code of Federal Regulations

e-CFR data is current as of March 26, 2020

Title 30Chapter ISubchapter BPart 27 → Subpart A


Title 30: Mineral Resources
PART 27—METHANE-MONITORING SYSTEMS


Subpart A—General Provisions


Contents
§27.1   Purpose.
§27.2   Definitions.
§27.3   Consultation.
§27.4   Application procedures and requirements.
§27.5   Letter of certification.
§27.6   Certification of components.
§27.7   Certification plate or label.
§27.8   [Reserved]
§27.9   Date for conducting tests.
§27.10   Conduct of investigations, tests, and demonstrations.
§27.11   Extension of certification.
§27.12   Withdrawal of certification.

§27.1   Purpose.

The regulations in this part set forth the requirements for methane-monitoring systems or components thereof to procure certification for their incorporation in or with permissible equipment that is used in gassy mines, tunnels, or other underground workings and procedures for applying for such certification.

[31 FR 10607, Aug. 9, 1966, as amended at 52 FR 17515, May 8, 1987]

§27.2   Definitions.

As used in this part:

(a) MSHA means the United States Department of Labor, Mine Safety and Health Administration.

(b) Applicant means an individual, partnership, company, corporation, association, or other organization that designs, manufactures, or assembles and that seeks certification or preliminary testing of a methane-monitoring system or component.

(c) Methane-monitoring system means a complete assembly of one or more methane detectors and all other components required for measuring and signalling the presence of methane in the atmosphere of a mine, tunnel, or other underground workings, and shall include a power-shutoff component.

(d) Methane detector means a component for a methane-monitoring system that functions in a gassy mine, tunnel, or other underground workings to sample the atmosphere continuously and responds to the presence of methane.

(e) Power-shutoff component means a component of a methane-monitoring system, such as a relay, switch, or switching mechanism, that will cause a control circuit to deenergize a machine, equipment, or power circuit when actuated by the methane detector.

(f) Flammable mixture means a mixture of a gas, such as methane, natural gas, or similar hydrocarbon gas with normal air, that can be ignited.

(g) Gassy mine or tunnel means a mine, tunnel, or other underground workings in which a flammable mixture has been ignited, or has been found with a permissible flame safety lamp, or has been determined by air analysis to contain 0.25 percent or more (by volume) of methane in any open workings when tested at a point not less than 12 inches from the roof, face, or rib.

(h) Letter of certification means a formal document issued by MSHA stating that a methane-monitoring system or subassembly or component thereof:

(1) Has met the requirements of this part, and

(2) Is certified for incorporation in or with permissible or approved equipment that is used in gassy mines and tunnels.

(i) Component means a part of a methane-monitoring system that is essential to its operation as a certified methane-monitoring system.

(j) Explosion-proof means that a component or group of components (subassembly) is so constructed and protected by an enclosure with or without a flame arrester(s) that, if a flammable mixture of gas is ignited within the enclosure, it will withstand the resultant pressure without damage to the enclosure and/or flame arrester(s). Also the enclosure and/or flame arrester(s) shall prevent the discharge of flame from within either the enclosure or the flame arrester, or the ignition of any flammable mixture that surrounds the enclosure and/or flame arrester.1

1Explosion-proof components or subassemblies shall be constructed in accordance with the requirements of Part 18 of this subchapter.

(k) Normal operation means that performance of each component as well as of the entire assembly of the methane-monitoring system is in conformance with the functions for which it was designed and for which it was tested by MSHA.

(l) Flame arrester means a device so constructed that it will prevent propagation of flame or explosion from within the unit of which it is part to a surrounding flammable mixture.

(m) Intrinsically safe equipment and circuitry means equipment and circuitry that are incapable of releasing enough electrical or thermal energy under normal or abnormal conditions to cause ignition of a flammable mixture of the most easily ignitable composition.

(n) Fail safe means that the circuitry of a methane-monitoring system shall be so designed that electrical failure of a component which is critical in MSHA's opinion will result in deenergizing the methane-monitoring system and the machine or equipment of which it is a part.

[31 FR 10607, Aug. 9, 1966, as amended at 39 FR 24003, June 28, 1974; 43 FR 12316, Mar. 24, 1978]

§27.3   Consultation.

By appointment, applicants or their representatives may visit the U.S. Department of Labor, Mine Safety and Health Administration, Approval and Certification Center, 765 Technology Drive, Triadelphia, WV 26059, to discuss with qualified MSHA personnel proposed methane-monitoring systems to be submitted in accordance with the regulations of this part. No charge is made for such consultation and no written report thereof will be made to the applicant.

[31 FR 10607, Aug. 9, 1966, as amended at 43 FR 12316, Mar. 24, 1978; 60 FR 35694, July 11, 1995; 73 FR 52212, Sept. 9, 2008]

§27.4   Application procedures and requirements.

(a)(1) No investigation or testing for certification will be undertaken by MSHA except pursuant to a written application, accompanied by all drawings, specifications, descriptions, and related materials. The application and all related matters and correspondence shall be addressed to: U.S. Department of Labor, Mine Safety and Health Administration, Approval and Certification Center, 765 Technology Drive, Triadelphia, WV 26059. Fees calculated in accordance with part 5 of this title shall be submitted in accordance with §5.40.

(2) Where the applicant for approval has used an independent laboratory under part 6 of this chapter to perform, in whole or in part, the necessary testing and evaluation for approval under this part, the applicant must provide to MSHA as part of the approval application:

(i) Written evidence of the laboratory's independence and current recognition by a laboratory accrediting organization;

(ii) Complete technical explanation of how the product complies with each requirement in the applicable MSHA product approval requirements;

(iii) Identification of components or features of the product that are critical to the safety of the product; and

(iv) All documentation, including drawings and specifications, as submitted to the independent laboratory by the applicant and as required by this part.

(3) An applicant may request testing and evaluation to non-MSHA product safety standards which have been determined by MSHA to be equivalent, under §6.20 of this chapter, to the product approval requirements under this part.

(b) Drawings, specifications, and descriptions shall be adequate in detail to identify fully all components and subassemblies that are submitted for investigation, and shall include wiring and block diagrams. All drawings shall include title, number, and date; any revision dates and the purpose of each revision shall also be shown on the drawing.

(c) For a complete investigation leading to certification, the applicant shall furnish all necessary components and material to MSHA. MSHA reserves the right to require more than one of each component, subassembly, or assembly for the investigation. Spare parts and expendable components, subject to wear in normal operation, shall be supplied by the applicant to permit continuous operation during test periods. The applicant shall furnish special tools necessary to assemble or disassemble any component or subassembly for inspection or test.

(d) The applicant shall submit a plan of inspection of components at the place of manufacture or assembly. The applicant shall furnish to MSHA a copy of any factory-inspection form or equivalent with the application. The form shall direct attention to the points that must be checked to make certain that all components or subassemblies of the complete assembly are in proper condition, complete in all respects, and in agreement with the drawings, specifications, and descriptions filed with MSHA.

(e) The applicant shall furnish to MSHA complete instructions for operating the assembly and servicing components. After completion of MSHA's investigation, and before certification, if any revision of the instructions is required, a revised copy thereof shall be submitted to MSHA for inclusion with the drawings and specifications.

[31 FR 10607, Aug. 9, 1966, as amended at 43 FR 12316, Mar. 24, 1978; 60 FR 35694, July 11, 1995; 68 FR 36421, June 17, 2003; 70 FR 46343, Aug. 9, 2005; 73 FR 52212, Sept. 9, 2008]

§27.5   Letter of certification.

(a) Upon completion of investigation of a methane-monitoring system, or component or subassembly thereof, MSHA will issue to the applicant either a letter of certification or a written notice of disapproval, as the case may require If a letter of certification is issued, no test data or detailed results of tests will accompany it. If a notice of disapproval is issued, it will be accompanied by details of the defects, with a view to possible correction. MSHA will not disclose except to the applicant or his authorized representative, any information because of which a notice of disapproval has been issued.

(b) A letter of certification will be accompanied by an appropriate cautionary statement specifying the conditions to be observed for operating and maintaining the device(s) and to preserve its certified status.

§27.6   Certification of components.

In accordance with §27.4, manufacturers of components may apply to MSHA to issue a letter of certification. To qualify for certification, electrical components shall conform to the prescribed inspection and test requirements and the construction thereof shall be adequately covered by specifications officially recorded and filed with MSHA. Letters of certification may be cited to fabricators of equipment intended for use in a certified methane-monitoring system as evidence that further inspection and test of the components will not be required.

§27.7   Certification plate or label.

A certified methane-monitoring system or component thereof shall be identified with a certification plate or label which is attached to the system or component in a manner acceptable to MSHA. The method of attachment shall not impair the explosion-proof characteristics of any enclosure. The plate or label shall be of serviceable material, acceptable to MSHA, and shall contain the following inscription with spaces for appropriate identification of the system or component and assigned certificate number:

Manufacturer's Name
Description

(Name)

Model or Type No
Certified as complying with the applicable requirements of Schedule 32A.
Certificate No

§27.8   [Reserved]

§27.9   Date for conducting tests.

The date of receipt of an application will determine the order of precedence for investigation and testing. The applicant will be notified of the date on which tests will begin.

Note: If an assembly, subassembly, or component fails to meet any of the requirements, testing of it may be suspended and other items may be tested. However, if the cause of failure is corrected, testing will be resumed after completing such other test work as may be in progress.

[31 FR 10607, Aug. 9, 1966, as amended at 70 FR 46343, Aug. 9, 2005]

§27.10   Conduct of investigations, tests, and demonstrations.

MSHA shall hold as confidential and shall not disclose principles or patentable features, nor shall it disclose any details of drawings, specifications, or related materials. The conduct of all investigations, tests, and demonstrations shall be under the direction and control of MSHA, and any other persons shall be present only as observers, except as noted in paragraph (b) of this section.

(a) Prior to the issuance of a letter of certification, necessary Government personnel, representatives of the applicant, and such other persons as are mutually agreed upon may observe the investigations or tests.

(b) When requested by MSHA the applicant shall provide assistance in assembling or disassembling components, subassemblies, or assemblies for testing, preparing components, subassemblies, or assemblies for testing, and operating the system during the tests.

(c) After the issuance of a letter of certification, MSHA may conduct such public demonstrations and tests of the certified methane-monitoring system or components as it deems appropriate.

[31 FR 10607, Aug. 9, 1966, as amended at 39 FR 24003, June 28, 1974]

§27.11   Extension of certification.

If an applicant desires to change any feature of a certified system or component, he shall first obtain MSHA's approval of the change, pursuant to the following procedure:

(a)(1) Application shall be made as for an original certification, requesting that the existing certification be extended to cover the proposed changes. The application shall include complete drawings, specifications, and related data, showing the changes in detail.

(2) Where the applicant for approval has used an independent laboratory under part 6 of this chapter to perform, in whole or in part, the necessary testing and evaluation for approval of changes to an approved product under this part, the applicant must provide to MSHA as part of the approval application:

(i) Written evidence of the laboratory's independence and current recognition by a laboratory accrediting organization;

(ii) Complete technical explanation of how the product complies with each requirement in the applicable MSHA product approval requirements;

(iii) Identification of components or features of the product that are critical to the safety of the product; and

(iv) All documentation, including drawings and specifications, as submitted to the independent laboratory by the applicant and as required by this part.

(b) The application will be examined by MSHA to determine whether inspection and testing of the modified system or component or of a part will be required. MSHA will inform the applicant whether testing is required and the component or components and related material to be submitted for that purpose.

(c) If the proposed modification meets the requirements of this part, a formal extension of certification will be issued, accompanied by a list of revised drawings and specifications which MSHA has added to those already on file.

[31 FR 10607, Aug. 9, 1966, as amended at 52 FR 17515, May 8, 1987; 68 FR 36421, June 17, 2003]

§27.12   Withdrawal of certification.

MSHA reserves the right to rescind for cause any certification issued under this part.

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