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Material Handling Considerations For Secondary Roof Support Systems
  • Published Date:
    10/1/2000
  • Source:
    Proceedings: new technology for coal mine roof support. Mark C, Dolinar DR, Tuchman RJ, Barczak TM, Signer SP, Wopat PF, eds. Cincinnati, OH: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, DHHS (NIOSH) Publication No. 2000-151; (IC 9453), 2000 Oct; :99-109
  • Language:
    English
Filetype[PDF-907.18 KB]


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  • Description:
    Secondary roof support systems play a vital role in preserving the safety of underground mine workers by preventing the unintentional collapse of the mine roof. Hundreds of thousands of standing roof supports are constructed each year in underground coal mines. Historically, wood and concrete cribs and timber posts have been used for secondary roof support. These support constructions require the handling of heavy and bulky materials, causing numerous injuries to the mine workers and resulting in more than 40,000 lost workdays in the past 9 years. Since 1993, various alternative support technologies have been developed. These new support technologies not only provide superior roof support, but many also have significant material handling advantages by using smaller and lighter weight materials, fewer components, mechanically installed support systems, and pumpable support systems. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) has conducted extensive material handling research and has developed recommended lifting thresholds to reduce material handling injuries. An analysis of roof support construction reveals that conventional support materials used in wood and concrete cribbing exceed the recommended lifting thresholds, while the engineered support systems are closer to the recommended weight thresholds. Finally, recommendations are made relative to proper lifting techniques and material handling practices to prevent injury to mine workers when constructing roof supports in underground coal mines.
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