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The Mines Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2016

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Regulation 32(7)

SCHEDULE 1Support System Standards for Coal Mines

This schedule has no associated Explanatory Memorandum

1.  In the case of face workings where props are used—

(a)the maximum distance between props in the same row shall be 1.2 metres;

(b)the maximum distance between adjacent rows of props shall be 1.2 metres;

(c)the sum of the distances between the props in the same row and between adjacent rows of props shall not exceed 2.1 metres;

(d)the bars shall always be used above the props where the extracted height exceeds 0.6 metres; and

(e)the maximum distance between the row of props closest to the face and the face shall be—

(i)where an armoured conveyor is used and persons do not normally work on the face side of the conveyor, 2 metres; and

(ii)in all other cases when filling or loading at the face has been completed, 0.9 metres.

2.  In the case of face workings where bars are used—

(a)the maximum distance between adjacent bars in the same row shall be 1.2 metres; and

(b)bars shall be advanced as soon as practicable after extraction and set so that the maximum distance between the end of the bar closest to the face and the face is 0.4 metres.

3.  In the case of workings where powered supports are used—

(a)such supports shall be advanced as soon as practicable after extraction and set so that the maximum distance between the end of the beam closest to the face and the face is 0.5 metres;

(b)during normal production at any place where a machine is used which shears mineral to a depth exceeding 0.4 metres, the machine shall not be permitted to approach within 27 metres of any powered support which has not been advanced from the previous cut; and

(c)where an immediate forward support system is used, the supports shall be advanced—

(i)as close as practicable behind the coal-getting machine, and

(ii)in any event, no more than 10 metres behind the coal-getting machine.

4.  For the purpose of paragraph 3—

(a)“powered support” means a support which is advanced and set to the roof by mechanical energy;

(b)“beam” means that part of a powered support system designed to be set to the roof; and

(c)“immediate forward support system” means a system of supports designed to be advanced and set to the roof immediately after extraction by a coal-getting machine.

5.  In the case of face workings where packs are used—

(a)the maximum width of roof exposed by the working of mineral since the completion of the last pack shall be 2.1 metres; and

(b)the waste edge parallel to the face shall be no more than 1.5 metres in advance of the front line of pack bounding that waste.

6.  In the case of face workings where persons work or pass more than 0.9 metres beyond the front row of props or other supports, temporary supports shall be used and no person may work more than 0.9 metres from a temporary support.

7.  In this Schedule, “face working”—

(a)in relation to a working face at which supports are systematically withdrawn, means all that part of the mine between the face and the front line of the packs, if any, or the last row of supports for the time being maintained, whichever is the further from the face; and

(b)in relation to a working face at which supports are not systematically withdrawn, means all that part of the mine between the face and a line parallel to it and 3.7 metres from it.

8.  In the case of roadways where props and bars are used as the principal support—

(a)the maximum distance between adjacent bars shall be 1.2 metres;

(b)the minimum number of props per bar shall be 2; and

(c)the maximum distance from the last bar to the face shall be 3.5 metres.

9.  In the case of roadways where steel arches are used as the principal support—

(a)the maximum distance between adjacent arches shall be 1.2 metres; and

(b)the maximum distance between the last arch before the face and the face shall be 3.5 metres.

10.  In the case of roadways where rockbolts are used as the principal support—

(a)the minimum density of rockbolts in the roof shall be 1 bolt per square metre;

(b)the minimum length of rockbolt in the roof shall be 1.8 metres; and

(c)the maximum distance between the last completed row of rockbolts and the face shall be 3.5 metres.

11.  In the case of roadways where machines are used to cut and simultaneously load, the maximum advance per cycle of any such machine shall be 1.2 metres.

12.  In the case of roadways where persons work or pass in front of the last permanent support—

(a)temporary supports shall be used; and

(b)the maximum distance between the last permanent support and the first line of temporary supports shall be 1.2 metres, except where props are used, when that distance shall be 0.9 metres.

13.  For the purpose of this Schedule, “bar” means a support designed to be set between a prop and the roof.

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