Document Type

Conference Paper

Publication Date


Publication Details

This conference paper was originally published as Lyne, B, Hazard Management in Longwall Installations, in Aziz, N (ed), Coal 2003: Coal Operators' Conference, University of Wollongong & the Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy, 2003, 14-20.


From its beginnings in the mid 1960’s, longwall mining has become the mainstay of the current underground coal mining industry in Australia. In addition and contrary to the variances in legislation applying to mines operating in Queensland and New South Wales, the underground coal reserves in both states exhibit the same hazards. Words in mining legislation may differ from state to state, however the intent has a common theme - management of the safety and health hazards in the workplace. All longwall mines share three basic features, they all involve the employment of people, they use similar types of machinery and extract coal from seams, which were deposited many millions of years ago. The purpose of this presentation is to briefly review some of the background matters surrounding the current mines and then identify a number of the hazards associated with each of these features. Finally, some comments are offered for the purpose of identifying some areas of opportunity to eliminate or better control hazards in the future. Longwall mining should be the safest method of mining due to systematic process with high levels of engineering. The fact that injuries continue to occur is evidence that there is room to improve the level of risk control applied at a mine.

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