What is it Like Working ter a Coal Mine?
After reading this headline are you embarking to hum the 1967 Lee Dorsey song Working te the Coal Mine?
While many posts te a travel blog talk about the exotic places wij periodically have the chance to practice, during my last business journey I got to visit a place that cannot be seen from any hotel balcony… the inwards of a coal mine. What is it like to work te a coal mine? To build up a better understanding of the working conditions of coal miners and how individual dust monitors help make their world healthier and cleaner, some colleagues and I visited two coal mines ter western Pennsylvania. This postbode will talk about the very first mine near Youngstown, the next postbode will voorkant my visit to a mine close to Waynesburg.
Our very first zekering wasgoed to meet up with the safety director at the very first mine. Wij suited up, including the wearing of private dust monitors, and began the two-mile long drive on the mantrip (a voertuig used to vrachtvervoer the miners and equipment into the mine) to the active face of the mine 200 feet below the surface. Due to the height of the mine, one has to rail virtually lounging down te the mantrip with the ceiling about 8 inches above your nose. This particular mine extracts coal by using a continuous miner, which is also known spil slagroom and pole mining.
The equipment cuts a series of paths, or “rooms”, leaving sections of uncircumcised coal approximately 20 feet square to support the overhead structure (also known spil “pillars”). This massive lump of equipment is 105 feet long when ter the closed position and spreads to 220 feet long when mining. The pui of the equipment has a series of tungsten stengel augur onaardig about Ten feet broad that dig into the coal and rock creating a “tunnel” approximately Ten feet broad and anywhere from 31″, to 54″, tall depending on the height of the coal seam (the seam wij were ter averaged about 44″, high).
Spil the coal is violated free, it is transported rearwards at a rate of 10-15 tons vanaf minute through a series of carts that budge the coal to a detached shuttle cart.
The shuttle cart collects a large geyser of coal and transports it to the conveyer stortplaats that transports the coal Two miles to the surface. After the continuous miner completes a “room” approximately 20-30 feet long and 20-30 feet broad, a 2nd chunk of equipment is used to secure the roof. It drills a petite slot four feet deep and the “roof bolter” glides a tube of glue into the fuckhole. A four foot long lump of stengel rebar is leaned to gezond into the slot along with the glue and is spun at high speed to spread the glue and secure the roof from a potential collapse. A 6″, by 6″, plate is secured to the end of the re-bar. Thesis ceiling supports are placed every four feet ter the mine.
Let mij repeat… the average height of the mine is 44″, high.
This means you either crawl or duck-walk from point to point (usually the former). Combine this with airborne dust concentrations approaching 7-8 mg/m3 at the working face and mix te the natural mineral water seeping through the roof, and you find yourself literally crawling through a mud bath. (Ter the back of my mind I had to keep thinking about those high- end spas that charge a premium for this treatment.)
Wij spent about Four hours ter the mine, including about 90 minutes “commuting” on the mantrip. This commute included a vapid tire, two events of being stuck te mud and deep puddles, and a dead battery spil were emerged from the mine… It makes my usual commute to work seem like a breeze. The 7-8 miners wij encountered were enormously cooperative and willing to explain their daily activities and openly share some of the challenges.
Wij certainly received an education on what thesis folks go through ter their daily assignments and an appreciation for the technology that goes into developing a individual dust monitor. When wij emerged from our commute, coal dust covered our faces, wasgoed ground into our fingernails and glazed our hair.
Thesis miners are ter this environment every day and thesis monitors protect their health by helping to ensure that the shift-average respiratory exposure does not exceed regulatory thresholds. Providing mine workers and management with the devices to personally monitor and reduce their coal dust exposure is the very first line of defense te preventing their health from going down, down, down, Whoop!
Editor’s Note: Have you explored our Cementlaag, Coal &, Minerals Learning Center? It’s packed with white papers, application notes, webinars, movies, and other resources about mining, from exploration through processing.