(1) At least once during each shift, or more often if necessary for safety, a certified person designated by the operator shall conduct an on-shift examination of each section where anyone is assigned to work during the shift and any area where mechanized mining equipment is being installed or removed during the shift. The certified person shall check for hazardous conditions and violations of the mandatory health or safety standards referenced in paragraph (a)(3) of this section, test for methane and oxygen deficiency, and determine if the air is moving in its proper direction.
(2) A person designated by the operator shall conduct an examination and record the results and the corrective actions taken to assure compliance with the respirable dust control parameters specified in the approved mine ventilation plan. In those instances when a shift change is accomplished without an interruption in production on a section, the examination shall be made anytime within 1 hour after the shift change. In those instances when there is an interruption in production during the shift change, the examination shall be made before production begins on a section. Deficiencies in dust controls shall be corrected before production begins or resumes. The examination shall include: Air quantities and velocities; water pressures and flow rates; excessive leakage in the water delivery system; water spray numbers and orientations; section ventilation and control device placement; roof bolting machine dust collector vacuum levels; scrubber air flow rate; work practices required by the ventilation plan; and any other dust suppression measures. Measurements of the air velocity and quantity, water pressure and flow rates are not required if continuous monitoring of these controls is used and indicates that the dust controls are functioning properly.
(3) On-shift examinations shall include examinations to identify violations of the standards listed below:
(iv) § 75.1403 - other safeguards, limited to maintenance of travelways along belt conveyors, off track haulage roadways, and track haulage, track switches, and other components for haulage;
(v) § 75.1722(a) - guarding moving machine parts; and
(vi) § 75.1731(a) - maintenance of belt conveyor components.
(b) During each shift that coal is produced, a certified person shall examine for hazardous conditions and violations of the mandatory health or safety standards referenced in paragraph (a)(3) of this section along each belt conveyor haulageway where a belt conveyor is operated. This examination may be conducted at the same time as the preshift examination of belt conveyors and belt conveyor haulageways, if the examination is conducted within 3 hours before the oncoming shift.
(c) Persons conducting the on-shift examination shall determine at the following locations:
(1) The volume of air in the last open crosscut of each set of entries or rooms on each section and areas where mechanized mining equipment is being installed or removed. The last open crosscut is the crosscut in the line of pillars containing the permanent stoppings that separate the intake air courses and the return air courses.
(2) The volume of air on a longwall or shortwall, including areas where longwall or shortwall equipment is being installed or removed, in the intake entry or entries at the intake end of the longwall or shortwall.
(3) The velocity of air at each end of the longwall or shortwall face at the locations specified in the approved ventilation plan.
(4) The volume of air at the intake end of any pillar line -
(i) Where a single split of air is used in the intake entry furthest from the return air course immediately outby the first open crosscut outby the line of pillars being mined; or
(ii) Where a split system is used in the intake entries of each split immediately inby the split point.
(1) A qualified person shall make tests for methane -
(i) At the start of each shift at each working place before electrically operated equipment is energized; and
(ii) Immediately before equipment is energized, taken into, or operated in a working place; and
(iii) At 20-minute intervals, or more often if required in the approved ventilation plan at specific locations, during the operation of equipment in the working place.
(2) Except as provided for in paragraph (d)(3) of this section, these methane tests shall be made at the face from under permanent roof support, using extendable probes or other acceptable means. When longwall or shortwall mining systems are used, these methane tests shall be made at the shearer, the plow, or the cutting head. When mining has been stopped for more than 20 minutes, methane tests shall be conducted prior to the start up of equipment.
(3) As an alternative method of compliance with paragraph (d)(2) of this section during roof bolting, methane tests may be made by sweeping an area not less than 16 feet inby the last area of permanently supported roof, using a probe or other acceptable means. This method of testing is conditioned on meeting the following requirements:
(i) The roof bolting machine must be equipped with an integral automated temporary roof support (ATRS) system that meets the requirements of 30 CFR 75.209.
(ii) The roof bolting machine must have a permanently mounted, MSHA-approved methane monitor which meets the maintenance and calibration requirements of 30 CFR 75.342(a)(4), the warning signal requirements of 30 CFR 75.342(b), and the automatic de-energization requirements of 30 CFR 75.342(c).
(iii) The methane monitor sensor must be mounted near the inby end and within 18 inches of the longitudinal center of the ATRS support, and positioned at least 12 inches from the roof when the ATRS is fully deployed.
(iv) Manual methane tests must be made at intervals not exceeding 20 minutes. The test may be made either from under permanent roof support or from the roof bolter's work position protected by the deployed ATRS.
(v) Once a methane test is made at the face, all subsequent methane tests in the same area of unsupported roof must also be made at the face, from under permanent roof support, using extendable probes or other acceptable means at intervals not exceeding 20 minutes.
(vi) The district manager may require that the ventilation plan include the minimum air quantity and the position and placement of ventilation controls to be maintained during roof bolting.
(e) If auxiliary fans and tubing are used, they shall be inspected frequently.
(f) During each shift that coal is produced and at intervals not exceeding 4 hours, tests for methane shall be made by a certified person or by an atmospheric monitoring system (AMS) in each return split of air from each working section between the last working place, or longwall or shortwall face, ventilated by that split of air and the junction of the return air split with another air split, seal, or worked-out area. If auxiliary fans and tubing are used, the tests shall be made at a location outby the auxiliary fan discharge.
(1) The person conducting the on-shift examination in belt haulage entries shall certify by initials, date, and time that the examination was made. The certified person shall certify by initials, date, and the time at enough locations to show that the entire area has been examined.
(2) The certified person directing the on-shift examination to assure compliance with the respirable dust control parameters specified in the approved mine ventilation plan shall:
(i) Certify by initials, date, and time on a board maintained at the section load-out or similar location showing that the examination was made prior to resuming production; and
(ii) Verify, by initials and date, the record of the results of the examination required under (a)(2) of this section to assure compliance with the respirable dust control parameters specified in the mine ventilation plan. The verification shall be made no later than the end of the shift for which the examination was made.
(3) The mine foreman or equivalent mine official shall countersign each examination record required under (a)(2) of this section after it is verified by the certified person under (g)(2)(ii) of this section, and no later than the end of the mine foreman's or equivalent mine official's next regularly scheduled working shift. The record shall be made in a secure book that is not susceptible to alteration or electronically in a computer system so as to be secure and not susceptible to alteration.
(4) Records shall be retained at a surface location at the mine for at least 1 year and shall be made available for inspection by authorized representatives of the Secretary and the representative of miners.