OHS Code Explanation Guide

Published Date: July 01, 2009
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Part 36 Mining

Section 604 Examination

Proper care and maintenance of a conveyor system in any underground mine can significantly reduce the potential for fire. Given the combustible nature of coal and coal dust, the problems associated with a conveyor fire are increased many-fold. A competent worker must therefore frequently inspect the conveyor system and all its related components.

In an underground coal mine each conveyor system (belt line) must be inspected at least once each shift to check for hot spots caused by friction of the belt or other moving components such as belt-carrying-idlers.

Dangerous buildups of coal dust must not be allowed to accumulate beneath the moving belt, under pulleys, or around conveyor belt rollers. Friction could result in a fire or explosion.

Prior to resuming operations after an interruption in mining activity, the total conveyor system must be examined to ensure that it is safe to start up. Given the nature of the underground mining environment, any number of serious hazards could have developed since the last time the system was operated or inspected. For example, a fall of ground could have resulted in damage to the conveyor belt or caused blockage of individual conveyor components. As well, maintenance or operating materials could have been inadvertently left on the belt, or previously undetected electrical cable damage could now become evident. It is essential therefore that pre-use inspections be conducted to identify and correct any conveyor system hazards.