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Murphys Law Page
Murphy's Laws for Coal Mine Safety

  1. If you are moving section equipment on track to a new location, an accident or problem can happen.

  2. If you assume something has been done, it probably has not.

  3. If slippage rollers are not being checked every shift, they probably won't work when you need them.

  4. If the coal seam is not well drilled and conditions well defined, most of your surprises will be unpleasant.

  5. The roof always falls 2 feet higher than the ATRS will reach.

  6. If a belt splice has been reported to need changing, it will probably not last to the end of the shift.

  7. If you are working on an elevated platform and you think you need a safety rope, you probably do.

  8. If you are mining under excellent roof conditions, as soon as someone ventures out from under supports, the roof is likely to fall.

  9. If a safe job procedure for a new piece of equipment or new process is not developed by the employees doing the work, someone will probably get hurt.

  10. Anything unusual, different, or varying from the daily routine is a high percentage accident activity. Change requires careful planning and supervision.

  11. If you think you are the only person in the mine, or a section of the mine, and you are contemplating crossing over an idle conveyor, someone will probably start the belts at the exact time when you are on the conveyor.

  12. If you don't bother locking and tagging a plug, someone will likely plug it in.

  13. If you are traveling on track without dispatcher clearance or a block light system, you will almost always encounter a trip of rock or supplies on a blind curve.

  14. If you can't find emergency roof support supplies on the section, that is the day that you will need them.

  15. If the section foreman doesn't take centers at least four times while mining a belt entry, it will usually be mined off sites.

  16. When, for whatever reason, there is no transportation on a working section, an emergency will often arise which requires it.

  17. The first time any piece of electrical equipment is energized, it will usually be phased wrong.

  18. If the proceeding shift mentions that the roof in an area needs to be looked at, chances are it will need to be rebolted and at least 10 cribs set.

  19. If the batteries or electrical equipment are not color coded and a battery program is not strictly enforced, they will almost always go dead in the middle of the shift.

  20. Unmarked low crossbars, beams or roof over manways will probably be the scene of an accident.

  21. If a thunderstorm is in the general area, the fan and probably all of the power will go off.

  22. If beltmen, electricians or mechanics are using utility knives and cutting towards themselves, you can probably count on having a reportable injury.

  23. Any time proper pre-op checks are not made on a piece of equipment, something is probably defective which will contribute toward an accident.

  24. If recovered conveyor belt rolls are not measured and clearly marked, they will almost always be the wrong size when sent in for a belt move.

  25. If something in a working place seems wrong and the hair stands up on the back of your neck, back out and study the situation - something probably is wrong. Fix it before proceeding.

  26. The day when you have given a 30 minute presentation on your super maintenance software program to your company's CEO and the head of MSHA, that is the day the mantrip will breakdown on the way in.

  27. During a very complicated air change, the chances of the mine foreman getting call outs of the desired quantity are increased directly proportionately with the amount of hours the change drags on.

  28. If you have not positively established air pressure relationships between 2 areas of the mine projected to cut together, the air will almost always move in the direction opposite of what you thought.

  29. All section crews report that they were left in "bad shape" by the preceeding shift.

  30. Pieces of equipment that before ran perfectly, will not run when they are moved to a new location.

  31. Someone will pump water onto the conveyor belts at some time.

  32. On a new longwall face, the cable will almost always be pulled out of the shearer or mid face box on the first pass.

  33. The amount of coal miner units report is directly proportioned to how well the longwall is doing.

  34. Nearly every mine jeep will have a lifting jack or bar missing.

  35. If a track switch is not properly aligned and gapped even slightly, some piece of rail equipment will likely split the switch and cause a wreck.

  36. Crews that don't hold regular safety meetings will almost always be the least productive.