SURFACE MINE SAFETY
Surface mine inspections include checking company log books, powder magazines, safety items on equipment, and review of work areas for safety. This review includes inspection of conveyor belts, buildings, and highwalls. All haulage ways and ponds are checked to make sure safety berms have been properly installed. The inspector also reviews the credentials of the foreman responsible for employee safety and first aid supplies, and ensures that all communication systems are in place.
Additionally, this section is responsible for oil and gas well plugging in the coal-bearing townships of Ohio, monitoring gas storage reservoirs throughout the state, and conducting safety training classes for the mining industry.
UNDERGROUND MINE SAFETY
Ohio has some of the best trained mine rescue teams in the country. The rescue teams utilize state maintained mine rescue equipment. For example, the mine team has at its disposal a mobile laboratory that can be used to analyze air samples at the mine site during an emergency.
The mine rescue team is actively involved in the federal government's program to locate and find miners trapped underground by fire or explosion. This team is on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week should a disaster occur anywhere in the United States.
Two of the greatest risks faced by underground miners are roof collapse and fire. Roof collapse results from the combination of inadequate support structures within a mine and weak overburden material forming the roof of the mine. Fire may occur if faulty wiring ignites explosive mine gases. The close confines and inaccessibility of underground mines make rescue operations very difficult. Therefore, accident prevention is critical.
The Mine Safety program provides staff expertise to underground operators to help minimize the risks to miners of roof collapse in underground mine operations.
Similarly, staff provides expertise to minimize the risk of fire by ensuring that operators of underground mines meet all state and federal electrical codes.