Schedule 8C, Oct. 31, 1935, unless otherwise noted.
To receive approval of MSHA for any portable methane detectors a manufacturer must comply with the requirements specified in this part.
(a) The purpose of investigations under this part is to provide portable methane detectors that may be safely used in mines. Lists of such detectors will be published from time to time in order that State mine-inspection departments, compensation bureaus, mine operators, miners, and others interested in safe equipment for mines may have information in regard to permissible methane detectors. This part supersedes Schedule 8B, issued under date of November 17, 1926, and goes into effect October 31, 1935.
(b) Any methane detector that meets the requirements set forth in this part will be termed permissible by MSHA and if actively marketed will be listed as such in publications relating to permissible mining equipment.
(a) Methane detector. A methane detector is a device that may be used to detect the presence of methane in a gassy mine.
(b) Methane-indicating detector. A methane-indicating detector is a device that will show, within certain limits of error, on an adequate scale, the percentage of methane in a gassy atmosphere.
(c) Permissible. Completely assembled and conforming in every respect with the design formally approved by MSHA under this part. (Approvals under this part are given only to equipment for use in gassy and dusty mines.)
[Sched. 8C, Oct. 31, 1955, as amended by Supp. 1, 20 FR 2575, Apr. 19, 1955]
(a) Before MSHA will undertake an active investigation leading to approval of any methane detector, the applicant shall make application by letter for an investigation leading to approval of the detector. This application shall be sent to: U.S. Department of Labor, Mine Safety and Health Administration, Approval and Certification Center, 765 Technology Drive, Triadelphia, WV 26059, together with the required drawings, one complete detector, and instructions for its operation. Fees calculated in accordance with part 5 of this title shall be submitted in accordance with § 5.40.
(b) 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:
(1) Written evidence of the laboratory's independence and current recognition by a laboratory accrediting organization;
(2) Complete technical explanation of how the product complies with each requirement in the applicable MSHA product approval requirements;
(3) Identification of components or features of the product that are critical to the safety of the product; and
(4) All documentation, including drawings and specifications, as submitted to the independent laboratory by the applicant and as required by this part.
(c) 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 MSHA's product approval requirements under this part.
(a) One complete detector, with assembly and detail drawings that show the construction of the device and the materials of which it is made, should be forwarded prepaid to the U.S. Department of Labor, Mine Safety and Health Administration, Approval and Certification Center, 765 Technology Drive, Triadelphia, WV 26059, at the time the application for tests is made.
(b) When this has been inspected by MSHA, the applicant will be notified as to the amount of material that will be required for the tests. The manufacturer will be notified of the date on which the tests will be started and will be given an opportunity to witness the tests.
(c) Observers at formal investigations and demonstrations. No one shall be present during any part of the formal investigation conducted by MSHA which leads to approval for permissibility except the necessary Government personnel, representatives of the applicant, and such other persons as may be mutually agreed upon by the applicant and MSHA. Upon granting approval for permissibility, MSHA will announce that such approval has been granted to the device and may thereafter conduct, from time to time in its discretion, public demonstrations of the tests conducted on the approved device. Those who attend any part of the investigation, or any public demonstration, shall be present solely as observers; the conduct of the investigation and of any public demonstration shall be controlled by MSHA. Results of chemical analyses of material and all information contained in the drawings, specifications, and instructions shall be deemed confidential and their disclosure will be appropriately safeguarded by MSHA.
Methane detectors approved under this part shall be portable. They shall be durable in construction, practical in operation, and suitable for service conditions underground. They shall offer no probable explosion hazard if used in gaseous mine atmospheres nor any bodily hazard, such as spilling of battery electrolyte. They shall exhibit under laboratory test conditions various requirements of minimum performance that are specified in this part.
(a) Design. In the determination of adequacy of design, the following points will be considered:
(1) Materials used,
(4) size and shape,
(5) range of detection (or indication),
(6) life of the active parts, and
(7) attention required. The suitability of the materials and the construction shall be determined by preliminary inspection, by dropping tests, by laboratory and field tests in gas and air mixtures, and by the general behavior of the equipment during the investigation.
(b) Safety against explosion hazard -
(1) Detectors. Detectors shall be constructed so that they will not cause external ignitions when used in gaseous mine atmospheres.
(2) Seals or locks. All parts through which external ignitions might result shall be covered and protected adequately. All covers shall be sealed adequately or equipped with magnetic or other equally reliable locks to prevent their being opened by unauthorized persons.
(3) Glasses. Glasses or glass windows shall be of good-quality glass and protected adequately against breakage. Unguarded windows may be considered adequate in this respect, provided they are of small diameter and are of reasonably thick glass.
(4) Battery. If the detector is equipped with a battery, it shall be of such design that it will not produce sparks that will ignite an explosive mixture of methane and air.
(5) Detectors of the flame type. Methane detectors of the flame type shall be subject to the requirements of the flame-lamp schedule then in force.
(c) Safety against bodily hazard. Bodily hazard with battery-type detectors is due chiefly to possible burning of the user by electrolyte that has spilled from the battery. MSHA, therefore, requires that:
(1) Spilling of electrolyte. The battery shall be so designed and constructed that when properly filled it will not spill electrolyte under actual service conditions.
(2) Corrosion of battery container. The material of which the container is made shall resist corrosion under conditions of use.
(d) Performance. In addition to the general design and safety features, MSHA considers that permissible types of methane detectors should meet certain minimum requirements with respect to their performance, as follows:
(i) When the detector is operated according to the manufacturer's instructions, it shall be possible to detect at least 1 percent methane in air, and increasing percentages up to 5 percent shall be shown by continuously increasing evidence.
(ii) The average number of determinations that may be made in approximately 2-percent methane mixtures without recharging a battery or replacing a chemical accessory shall not be less than 25, and the average number of such determinations that may be made without replacing any other part shall be not less than 100.
(2) Indicating detectors. Indicating detectors shall give indications of as low as 0.25 percent methane. Detectors having an upper scale limit of 2 percent may be approved, but it is recommended that the detector be designed to give indications of as high as 4 percent methane. The indications for these percentages shall be within the limits of error specified in the following table:
Allowable Variations in Scale Reading
|Methane in mixtures||Minimum indication||Maximum indication|
(i) Tests shall be made at several percentages within the range of the indicating detector and at temperatures between the limits of 50° and 70 °F. by increments of 5°. Ten determinations shall be made at each percentage. Neither the average of the 10 readings nor more than 2 readings for each percentage shall exceed the limits of error given in the table.
(ii) The average number of determinations that may be made with an indicating detector without replacement of any part shall be not less than 30, and the average number that may be made without recharging the battery shall be not less than 15.
(iii) The scale shall not be subdivided into smaller divisions than the general accuracy of the indicating detector warrants.
(3) Mechanical strength. Detectors and indicating detectors shall be subjected to the following mechanical tests: Four of each of those parts or groups of assembled parts that are not normally strapped to the user shall be dropped 20 times on a wood floor from a height of 3 feet. Parts that are strapped to the user may be subjected to a jarring or bumping test to demonstrate adequate strength. The average number of times that any one of the detectors can be dropped before breakage or material distortion of essential parts shall be not less than 10.
(e) Attachments for illumination. If detectors are provided with attachments for illuminating purposes, such attachments shall be subject to the same requirements as those applying to that type of lamp under the lamp schedule then in force.
In order that MSHA may know exactly what it has tested and approved, it keeps detailed records covering each investigation. These records include drawings and actual equipment as follows:
(a) Drawings. The original drawings submitted with the application for the tests and the final drawings which the manufacturer must submit to MSHA before the approval is granted to show the details of the detector as approved, are retained. These drawings are used to identify the detector in the approval and as a means of checking the future commercial product of the manufacturer.
(b) Actual equipment. If MSHA so desires, parts of the detectors that are used in the tests will be retained as records of the equipment submitted. If the detector is approved, MSHA will require the manufacturer to submit one of his detectors, with the approval plate attached, as a record of his commercial product.
All approvals are granted by official letter from MSHA. A detector will be approved under this part only when the testing engineers have judged that it has met the requirements of the schedule and MSHA's records are complete, including drawings from the manufacturer that show the detector as it is to be commercially made. No verbal reports of the investigation will be given and no informal approvals will be granted. As soon as the manufacturer has received the formal approval, he shall be free to advertise his detector as permissible.
[Sched. 8C, Oct. 31, 1935, as amended by Supp. 1, 20 FR 2575, Apr. 19, 1955]
(a) Attachment to be made by manufacturers.
(1) Manufacturers shall attach, stamp, or mold an approval plate on each permissible methane detector. The plate shall bear the emblem of the Mines Safety and Health Administration and be inscribed as follows:
Permissible Methane Detector (or Permissible Methane Indicating Detector) Approval No. ___ issued to the _______ Company.
(2) When deemed necessary, an appropriate caution statement shall be added. The size and position of the approval plate shall be satisfactory to MSHA.
(b) Purpose of approval plate. The approval plate is a label that identifies the device so that anyone can tell at a glance whether it is of the permissible type or not. By the plate, the manufacturer can point out that his detector complies with MSHA's requirements and that it has been approved for use in gassy mines.
(c) Use of approval plate. Permission to place MSHA's approval plate on his detector obligates the manufacturer to maintain the quality of his product and to see that each detector is constructed according to the drawings that have been accepted by MSHA and are in MSHA's files. Detectors exhibiting changes in design that have not been approved are not permissible and must not bear MSHA's approval plate.
(d) Withdrawal of approval. MSHA reserves the right to rescind for cause at any time any approval granted under this part.
[Sched. 8C, Oct. 31, 1935, as amended at 43 FR 12315, Mar. 24, 1978]
All approvals are granted with the understanding that the manufacturer will make the detector according to the drawings submitted to MSHA which have been considered and included in the approval. Therefore, when the manufacturer desires to make any changes in the design, the manufacturer should first obtain MSHA's approval of the change. The procedure is as follows:
(1) The manufacturer must write to the U.S. Department of Labor, Mine Safety and Health Administration, Approval and Certification Center, 765 Technology Drive, Triadelphia, WV 26059, requesting an extension of the original approval and stating the change or changes desired. With this request, the manufacturer should submit a revised drawing or drawings showing changes in detail, together with one of each of the parts affected.
(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) MSHA will consider the application and inspect the drawings and parts to determine whether it will be necessary to make any tests.
(c) If no tests are necessary, the applicant will be advised of the approval or disapproval of the change by letter from MSHA.
(d) If tests are judged necessary, the applicant will be advised of the material that will be required.
[Sched. 8C, Oct. 31, 1935, as amended by Supp. 1, 20 FR 2575, Apr. 19, 1955; 43 FR 12315, Mar. 24, 1978; 52 FR 17514, May 8, 1987; 60 FR 35694, July 11, 1995; 68 FR 36420, June 17, 2003; 73 FR 52212, Sept. 9, 2008]