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77.214 Refuse Piles; General
A "safe distance," as used in Paragraph (a) of this section, should be at least 300 feet. Any proposal to construct a refuse pile within 300 feet should be reviewed by the District Manger.

"Fenced or otherwise guarded" as used in Paragraph (d) means a gate or other similar barrier across the entrance or exits to and from the refuse pile.

77.215 Refuse Piles; Construction Requirements
Paragraph (e) does not prohibit the operator from constructing a valley-fill type refuse pile, side hill refuse pile, etc., provided the operator installs hydraulic structures which will pass runoff from the affected watershed either around or under the refuse pile. The 100 year six-hour frequency storm should be used to determine the size of the hydraulic structure(s) used to accommodate surface runoff.

Paragraph (g) does not prohibit the operator from storing coal on a refuse pile in the form of a temporary stockpile.

77.215-1 Refuse Piles; Identification
This section does not specify a minimum or maximum size for the identification marker, nor for the letters/numbers used on the identification marker.

77.215-2 Refuse Piles; Reporting Requirements
The USGS topographic map, required by Paragraph (b)(2), should be legible of sufficient size to indicate the drainage area affecting the refuse pile. The nearest landmarks or communities should also be indicated.

Information, required by Paragraph (b)(3), should contain, as a minimum, the initial starting date of the pile (if known), foundation preparation (if known), material transport and handling (aerial tram, conveyor belt, truck haulage, etc.), approximate size(s) of refuse material, compaction equipment that had been used or is being used, and the lift thickness of the refuse material being placed.

Paragraph (b)(6) requires the operator to furnish information regarding diversion ditch size, decant pipe size, and any other hydraulic structure being used to pass water around or under a refuse pile in a permanent manner.

Under paragraph (b)(8), the operator shall submit revised reporting requirements if there are any significant changes made in paragraphs (b)(1) through (b)(8) of this Section.

77.215-3 Refuse Piles; Certification
Paragraphs (a) and (b) do not require specific wording for certification. However, the registered engineer should incorporate the wording in paragraph (a) as part of the certification. In addition, the certification should include statements describing the remedial work performed at the site that has minimized the hazardous condition(s).

77.216 Water, Sediment, or Slurry Impoundments and Impounding Structures; General
For the purpose of determining the elevation to which water, sediment or slurry can be impounded, measurements should be taken from the upstream toe of the structure to the lowest point on the crest of the structure. If the lowest point on the crest of the structure is the invert of a properly designed open channel spillway, then that point is the proper location for the upper measurement. Where decant pipes and pipe spillways are used, the elevation must still be measured to the lowest point on the crest of the structure, not to the invert of the decant riser or spillway pipe.

As the emphasized language above makes clear, the impoundment capacity of a structure may be based on a measurement to the invert of the spillway only if two contingencies are satisfied. The spillway must be an open channel configuration, and it must be properly designed. Where either of these requirements is lacking, the impoundment capacity of a structure must be determined based on a measurement made to the lowest point on the crest of the structure, without reference to the spillway. To assure that the requirement of a properly designed spillway is satisfied when the impoundment capacity of a structure is to be determined by measurement to the invert of the spillway, district managers are advised to adopt the following procedures:

  1. For impounding structures completed after August 6, 1981, the District Manager should notify the operator that, in order to rely on a measurement to the invert of the spillway for determining impoundment capacity, the operator must supply the information and analyses necessary for the district manager to make a meaning-ful evaluation of whether the spillway is properly designed. If this information is not made available to the district manager, then measurements should be made to the crest of the structure when determining impoundment capacity.

  2. For impounding structures completed before August 6, 1981, if the district manager has reason to believe that the spillway is not properly designed, the operator may be required to supply the information necessary for the district manager to make a meaningful evaluation of whether the spillway is properly designed.
This Section will not generally apply to incised ponds constructed on undisturbed, relatively flat ground unless such ponds are determined by the district manager to present a hazard to coal miners.

77.216-3 Water, Sediment, or Slurry Impoundments and impounding Structures; Inspection Requirements; Correction of Hazards; Program Requirements
In paragraph (c), "at the mine" refers to the mine office,preparation plant, engineering office, etc., depending on which location would be in the closest proximity to the site.

"One of the following persons" referred to in paragraph (d)should also include the preparation plant superintendent or foreman.

To comply with the training requirements of 30 CFR 77.216-3(g), a coal company shall submit, and the district manager may approve,a mine's training plan for persons whose work assignments require them to be qualified or certified. The intent of the plan is to ensure that the potential qualified person "shall be trained to recognize specific signs of structural instability and other hazardous conditions by visual observation and, if applicable,to monitor instrumentation."

The Mine Safety and Health Administration will consider the following items when evaluating a person to become qualified to inspect impoundments. The person must initially be trained according to an approved 30 CFR Part 77 training plan that has a program of instruction on impoundment inspection. The training course may be given by an instructor from the National Mine Health and Safety Academy, a district training or technical impoundment specialist, Technical Support personnel designated by the district manager, or an instructor designated to instruct impoundment inspection on an approved 30 CFR Part 77 training plan.

Before the person is considered qualified and is eligible to inspect water, sediment, or slurry impoundments according to 30 CFR 77.216-3, the person in the training program must pass an evaluation. The district manager may make use of an oral,written or practical demonstration, in order to determine the successful completion of training by the person.

The results will be recorded on the appropriate Certification/Qualification Examination Report (MSHA Form 5000-17) by the Agency's represent ative who conducted the examination and forwarded to the Qualification and Certification Unit, P.O.Box 25367, Denver, CO 80225-0367. The qualification status will become a permanent record in the Agency's data base and will not expire as long as retraining is attended on an annual basis.

Subpart D .... Thermal Dryers

77.301 Dryer Heating Units; Operation
Additional standards which should be consulted with regard to paragraph (b) of this Section are: The National Fire Protection Association Standards Number 60 "Standards for the Installation and Operation of Pulverized Fuel Systems"; and 653 "Prevention of Dust Explosions in Coal Preparation Plants." Both can be found in the NFPA National Fire Codes, Volume 3--Combustible Solids,Dusts, and Explosives, 1971-72.

77.303 Hot Gas Inlet Chamber Dropout Doors
The phrase, "At the bottom," as used in this Section, is interpreted to mean in the bottom area, not necessarily underneath.

77.313 Wet-Coal Feedbins; Low-level Indicators
"Wet coal bins," as referred to in this Section, mean large surge bins where audible and visible low level indicators are necessary.

77.314 Automatic Temperature Control Instruments
The instrument referred to in paragraph (b) of this Section need not be locked. However, the mechanism that controls the temperature setting shall be locked or sealed to prevent tampering or unauthorized adjustment.

Subpart E .... Safeguards for Mechanical Equipment

77.400 Mechanical Equipment Guards
The word "line," used in paragraph (b) of this Section, means belt line and should read "... if whipping action from a broken belt line would be hazardous to persons below." The guard required in paragraph (c) should extend a minimum distance of 30 inches from the point where persons could become caught between the belt and the pulley.

77.401 Stationary Grinding Machines; Protective Devices
Only wheels or discs with manufacturer's identification tags still attached, showing the proper r.p.m. rating of the wheel,shall be used. A grinding wheel or disc rated for 5,000 r.p.m.should not be used with a machine rated for 7,000 r.p.m.

77.403 Mobile Equipment; Falling Object Protective Structures (FOPS)
In enforcing paragraphs (a) and (b) of this Section, the inspector must make an independent judgment that a FOPS is necessary in order to protect the operator of the equipment.If an inspector observes equipment being operated and, in his/her opinion, a FOPS is necessary, the inspector shall issue acitation or order.

When mobile equipment other than what is listed in this Section,such as an excavator with a rotating deck, is used where there exists a hazard from falling objects, steps shall be taken to protect the operator. If, upon inspection, any machine is found operating in close proximity to a highwall and there is a danger from falling material, an order of withdrawal under the provisions of Section 107(a) of the Act would be appropriate to protect the machine operator.

77.403a Mobile Equipment; Rollover Protective Structures(ROPS)
Section 77.403a and 77.403b are written without parentheses.A citation may be written as 77.403a(c)(1). There are other possible combinations, but ensure that the correct transposition is made.

If an inspector, upon an inspection of a mine, finds that an imminent danger does exist which involves equipment manufactured prior to July 1, 1969, and relates to the lack of ROPS for such equipment, he/she shall issue an order under Section 107(a) of the Act. Such orders should describe the conditions (equipment,grades, etc.) and/or practices which constitute the imminent danger. Any such order issued should require the equipment (or similar equipment) to be withdrawn prohibited from operation under the conditions that created the imminent danger.

When such order has been issued, it should not be terminated because the mine operator has removed the equipment from service at the area where the imminent danger was found. The order should remain in effect to prevent the mine operator from putting that equipment (or similar equipment) back in operation under the same conditions after the inspector leaves the mine.

When an inspector finds a ROPS that is damaged or otherwise altered from its original configuration so that it no longer complies with these standards, a citation or order, as appropriate, should be issued for violation of paragraph (a)describing the condition observed.

Alterations and repairs to ROPS shall also be carefully examined for insufficient or defective welds. A ROPS with an insufficient or defective weld does not meet the requirements of paragraph(a), and a citation or order, as appropriate, should be issued.This condition also indicates that the weld may not have been performed by a certified welder, as required by paragraph (f).To determine whether a violation of paragraph (f) has occurred,the inspector should ask the operator to furnish evidence that the weld was performed by a certified welder.

77.404 Machinery and Equipment; Operation and Maintenance
Paragraph (a) of this Section does not affect enforcement of other mandatory safety standards and should be used only where such condition is not covered by any other regulation. Lack of frame grounding, improper protection, etc., are to be cited under the appropriate section in accordance with Section 104(a) of the Act, allowing reasonable time for compliance.

The presence of defects, such as worn tires, defective steering or brakes, malfunctioning hydraulic controls, worn lagging on belt conveyor drive rollers, or frozen or damaged idler rollers,could indicate that such machinery and equipment are not maintained in safe operating condition. Therefore, a violation of this Section would exist if such defects render the equipment unsafe to operate.

When an inspector finds a violation as described above, he/she shall issue a citation requiring the condition to be corrected in a reasonable time. This Section also requires that unsafe equipment be removed from service immediately. The operator should be advised of the requirement. If the operator removes such unsafe equipment from service immediately, this should be noted on the citation. If the operator does not remove such equipment from service immediately, another citation for such failure should be issued, giving the operator reasonable time to comply.

During the inspection of shop areas, battery-charging stations,and other places where hoisting equipment is used, such equipment should be closely examined to assure that the equipment is in safe operating condition.

These installations should be closely examined to make certain that:

  1. The hoist is securely fastened to the dolly or other support.

  2. The dolly rides the I-beam without excessive side play.

  3. The hoist has proper operating controls that allow the hoist to be operated from a safe position.

  4. The dolly or hoist does not contain bent or defective parts or defective ropes or chains.

  5. The hoist is being operated within its rated capacity.

  6. Hoists attached to I-beams are being used for vertical lifting only.

  7. The structure the hoist is attached to is provided with adequate stops or devices to prevent it from traveling beyond the end of the supporting structure.
The failure of safety devices such as horns, headlights,taillights, brake lights, or mirrors on mobile surface equipment can contribute to serious accidents involving these vehicles.Mine operators should be aware that horns, lighting systems, and other safety features can be rendered inoperable by accumulations of dust, mud, grease, or oil, as well as defective mechanical or electrical components. Accordingly, all such safety devices are required, under paragraph (a), to be maintained in operating condition or the mobile equipment must be removed from service.

MSHA's policy on Paragraph (c) of this section is similar to the policy on Section 77.500, which states that it is not necessary to completely deenergize large surface mining equipment where means are provided in the equipment to deenergize any part where repair work is to be done. Similarly, to comply with Paragraph(c), it is not necessary to completely deenergize large surface mining equipment where the motion of the operating equipment does not pose a hazard, and means are provided in the equipment to deenergize that part where repair or maintenance work is to be done. Each repair or maintenance job must be examined separately for hazards related to that particular job or work area. If the machine's operation poses a hazard to the employee performing the work, the machine shall be shut down until the work is completed or the hazard no longer exists. General maintenance and housekeeping can normally be performed while the machine is in motion except around unguarded energized electric or moving mechanical equipment.

77.405 Performing Work From a Raised Position; Safeguards
Mechanical means that are manufactured as an integral part of the machine for the purpose of securing a portion of the machine ina raised position are acceptable as meeting the requirements of this section.

Paragraph (b) of this Section requires that raised, elevated, and unsecured equipment must be securely blocked to prevent movement before miners position themselves under or between moveable components of the equipment. Occasionally, more than one component location on a machine must be blocked. Blocking material must be capable of supporting the weight of the equipment or component. Wood used for blocking material must be solid and should be flat sided. Most equipment can be safely blocked with a wooden crib. The crib should be installed on a solid footing and wedged tightly to the machine to prevent any initial movement that could dislodge the blocking.

77.408 Welding Operations
Welding operations within enclosed areas where excessive smoke and fumes accumulate should be ventilated by mechanical means.

77.410 Mobile Equipment; Automatic Warning Devices
The warning device required by this Section need not be provided for automobiles, jeeps, pickup trucks, and similar vehicles where the operator's view directly behind the vehicle is not obstructed.Service vehicles making visits to surface mines or surface work areas of underground mines are not required to be equipped with such warning devices.

77.413 Boilers
It is not the intent of this regulation to cause electric hot water heaters to meet the requirements of this Section, even though the name "boiler" appears on the name plate. The regulation applies only to steam boilers.

Subpart F .... Electric Equipment - General

77.500 Electric Power Circuits and Electric Equipment;Deenergization
When electrical work is being performed on equipment, it is not necessary to completely deenergize the power system if means are provided on the equipment to deenergize the particular part or circuit on which repair work is to be done.

When work is performed in close physical proximity to exposed electric circuits or parts, they shall be deenergized. High-voltage circuits that are not equipped with metallic shielding are considered to be exposed. Sections 110-16 and 710-34 of the 1968 National Electrical Code pertaining to working clearances can be used as a guide in determining "close physical proximity."All circuits within an electrical enclosure shall be deenergized before work is performed within the enclosure unless such energized circuits are guarded by suitable physical guards or adequate physical separation.

"Troubleshooting or testing", for the purpose of this Section,would include the work of locating an electrical problem in the electric circuits on an energized machine, but would not include the actual repair with the machine energized.

Sections 75.1720(c) and 77.1710(c) require that protective gloves be worn by miners when they are performing work "which might cause injury to the hands," unless the gloves would create a greater hazard by becoming entangled in the moving parts of equipment. As the accident and injury data associated with working on energized circuits and equipment clearly indicates,this type of work presents a significant risk of hand injury.Therefore, gloves worn in accordance with 75.1720(c) and 77.1710(c) will be required whenever miners troubleshoot or test energized electric power circuits or electric equipment.Work gloves in good condition are acceptable for troubleshooting or testing energized low- and medium-voltage circuits or equipment.