A snapshot of ground control practices in underground mines
Falls of ground and rockbursts are among the most serious hazards facing the mining industry, resulting in numerous fatalities and critical injuries over the years. Helping the industry find ways to control these risks and ensure worker safety is a key priority for Workplace Safety North (WSN).
Managing the risks associated with fall of ground and rockbursts is not easy but the danger can be mitigated by increasing what we know about hazards and their controls in order to reduce the exposure of workers. Deficiencies in ground control practices must be identified and corrected.
Ground Control Assessment Services
WSN’s one-day Ground Control Assessment offers clients a snapshot of ground control practices. The assessment includes a review of standard operating procedures, personnel interviews and field assessments of conditions and practices in active underground headings. Areas included in the assessment are:
Discussions with mine personnel regarding workers’ awareness of communication procedures, ground support standards and potential hazards in the heading, field level risk assessment, driving layouts, logbooks, etc.
Evaluation of the overall conditions in the heading (housekeeping, scaling, perimeter blasting practices, present condition of ground support installations, etc.)
Inspection of the quality of ground support installations (storage of ground support products, proper installation practices, bolting and screening as per driving layout, etc.)
Following the site visit, a detailed confidential report is sent to the mine. The report includes a summary of scores for all headings visited and observed deficiencies in ground control practices, and offers specific recommendations for improvement. The assessment uses three main activities to guide questions and chart the findings (see sample graph).
WSN is a not-for-profit organization; fees are set to cover the costs of consumables, travel, hotel accommodation and administrative time for report writing.