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Section 1567.73 | Installation of methane monitors.


(A) The chief of the division of mineral resources management or the chief's representative shall require installation on a longwall working section of a federally approved methane monitor capable of giving warning automatically when the concentration of methane reaches a maximum percentage of not more than 1.0 volume per cent of methane. The sensoring unit indicating the atmospheric conditions on the methane monitor shall be installed at a location specified in the approved plan or revision required by section 1567.69 of the Revised Code.

The operator shall ensure that the methane monitor is kept operative and properly maintained and tested weekly for functioning.

The operator of any mine in which longwall mining is performed shall establish and adopt a definite maintenance program designed to keep methane monitors operative, and a written description of the program shall be available for inspection by the division of mineral resources management. At least once each month, the operator shall have the methane monitor checked for operating accuracy with a known methane air mixture and shall have the monitor calibrated as necessary. The operator shall keep a record of calibration tests in a book on the surface, which may be the same book used to comply with requirements established under regulations of the mine safety and health administration in the United States department of labor.

If the methane monitor on a longwall working section malfunctions, the operator shall have the monitor repaired within twelve hours. During the period of time the methane monitor is inoperative, the operator shall not permit electric equipment to be operated for longer than ten minutes without an examination for methane gas, shall require that the examinations required in division (B) of this section be conducted on one-hour intervals, and shall require an air reading on the intake side of the longwall working face to be collected on one-hour intervals.

If parts are unavailable to correct the malfunction of the methane monitor or the malfunction cannot be repaired within twelve hours, the operator shall immediately notify the division, which shall evaluate the circumstances and may allow continued operation under the procedures of the preceding paragraph if the operator is proceeding with good faith efforts to correct the malfunction.

If a malfunction of the methane monitor occurs on a longwall working section, the supervisor on duty shall indicate in the supervisor's own shift examination report, in the fire boss report books, the date and time the methane monitor malfunctioned.

(B) A certified person designated by the mine foreperson to supervise a longwall working section shall examine the longwall working face for hazards as a part of the pre-shift and on-shift examinations for each coal producing shift and more often if necessary for safety or required by division (A) of this section. The examination shall include a test for methane gas and oxygen deficiency. The methane and oxygen deficiency examinations shall be made at reasonable intervals along the coal face between the headgate and tailgate. The person's initials, date, and time shall be recorded at the headgate and tailgate. If one per cent or more of methane gas is detected along the coal face, the electrical equipment shall be immediately de-energized and the electrical power circuit then disconnected from the power supply until a certified person pronounces the place safe.

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