CODE OF PRACTICE
STRATA CONTROL IN UNDERGROUND COAL MINES
TABLE OF Contents
SCOPE & APPLICATION 3
1. INTRODUCTION 5
1.1What is strata control? 5
1.2Who has duties for strata control in underground coal mines? 5
2. IDENTIFYING HAZARDS AND ASSESSING THE RISKS 7
2.1 Identifying hazards 7
2.2 Assessing the risks 7
3. CONTROLLING THE RISKS 10
3.1 Estimation of the geological conditions 10
3.2 Geotechnical data collection 10
3.3 Mining Geometry 11
3.4 Risk Plan 11
3.5 Section Reviews 12
3.6 Strata control of failure model and design of roadway support rules 12
3.7 Longwall strata control 14
3.8 Pillar Extraction 16
3.9 Pillar Design 17
4. MONITORING, AUDIT, REVIEW AND CHANGE MANAGEMENT 23
APPENDIX A - GEOTECHNICAL AND MINING TERMS 24
APPENDIX B – EXAMPLES OF FUNCTIONS AND RESPONSIBILITIES 28
APPENDIX C – OTHER RELEVANT INFORMATION 33
This Code of Practice on strata control in underground coal mines is an approved code of practice under section 274 of the Work Health and Safety Act (the WHS Act).
An approved code of practice is a practical guide to achieving the standards of health, safety and welfare required under the WHS Act and the Work Health and Safety Regulations (the WHS Regulations).
A code of practice applies to anyone who has a duty of care in the circumstances described in the code. In most cases, following an approved code of practice would achieve compliance with the health and safety duties in the WHS Act, in relation to the subject matter of the code. Like regulations, codes of practice deal with particular issues and do not cover all hazards or risks which may arise. The health and safety duties require duty holders to consider all risks associated with work, not only those for which regulations and codes of practice exist.
Codes of practice are admissible in court proceedings under the WHS Act and Regulations. Courts may regard a code of practice as evidence of what is known about a hazard, risk or control and may rely on the code in determining what is reasonably practicable in the circumstances to which the code relates.
Compliance with the WHS Act and Regulations may be achieved by following another method, such as a technical or an industry standard, if it provides an equivalent or higher standard of work health and safety than the code.
An inspector may refer to an approved code of practice when issuing an improvement or prohibition notice.
This Code has been developed by Safe Work Australia in conjunction with the National Mine Safety Framework Steering Group as a model code of practice under the Council of Australian Governments’ Inter-Governmental Agreement for Regulatory and Operational Reform in Occupational Health and Safety for adoption by the Commonwealth, state and territory governments
A draft of this Code of Practice was released for public consultation on [to be completed] and was endorsed by the Workplace Relations Ministers Council on [to be completed].
This Code is a practical guide to assist the mine operator to develop and implement a principal hazard management plan for strata instability as required under the WHS Regulations. This Code applies to the underground workings of a coal mine but does not apply to the surface effects of underground mining
Who should use this code?
You should use this Code if you have functions and responsibilities that are contained in the principal hazard management plan for strata instability. This Code can be used by workers and health and safety representatives who need to understand the hazards and risks associated with strata control.
How to use this code of practice
This Code includes references to both mandatory and non-mandatory actions. The references to legal requirements contained in the WHS Act and Regulations (highlighted in text boxes in this Code) are not exhaustive and are included for context only.
The words ‘must’, ‘requires’ or ‘mandatory’ indicate that legal requirements exist, which must be complied with. The word ‘should’ indicates a recommended course of action, while ‘may’ indicates an optional course of action.