Keywords: longwall mining, ventilation standards, standard compliance, MV-CI, mine ventilation compliance index, USA, United States, mine safety, underground coal mines
Comparative analysis of compliance with mine ventilation standards by US longwall underground coal mines
Because of the Upper Big Branch-South disaster in 2010, this paper examines the mine ventilation-standard compliance performance of all US longwall underground coal mines. Using the new Mine Ventilation Safe Performance Index (MV-SPI), analysis revealed that the best-performing mines had very low elevated-citation rates; 25% of the 40 mines had no closure orders. Results indicate that attaining a high level of compliance with ventilation standards is feasible for large longwall mines. The MV-SPI could be used by mine operators, enforcement agencies, and safety professionals to determine the comparative performance of mines in complying with ventilation standards and to benchmark performances.