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News » UK » Guide published for piling into coal » published 30 Mar 2012

Guide published for piling into coal

The Coal Authority today publishes new guidance for piling or drilling near coal seams.

The best practice guide is aimed at the geotechnical industry giving information and practical advice on managing hazardous gases when drilling and piling in and around coal seams and former mine workings.

The guide has been produced in response to a number of serious incidents that have occurred as a result of surface emissions of toxic gases into houses during the investigation and treatment of nearby former coal mine workings.

Of particular concern are incidents where carbon monoxide has been measured or inferred as entering houses from the mine workings below. Mine workings can also contain methane, hydrogen sulphide, carbon dioxide and oxygen deficient air, all of which can be hazardous to health if emitted at the surface.

Research carried out by the Coal Authority has led to a group comprising the Health & Safety Executive, British Drilling Association Federation of Piling Specialists, Association of Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Specialists and the Coal Authority being formed to produce guidance, in conjunction with the industry, on how coal mine workings and unworked coal can be safely investigated and treated without the flush from drilling rigs displacing these hazardous gases.

Ray Kenny, principal engineering geologist at consulting engineer Halcrow, described the guide as “very comprehensive providing both an aide memoir and practical advice”.

Glasgow Council senior geologist Donald Linn added: “I believe that the document will prove extremely useful in practice, and strikes the right note in the way it is written. It advocates good practice, without being prohibitive or impractical.”

The 59-page guide - Guidance on Managing the Risk of Hazardous Gases when Drilling or Piling Near Coal - can be downloaded as a pdf here


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This article was published on 30 Mar 2012 (last updated on 30 Mar 2012).

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