(a) The face of all highwalls, to a distance of 25 feet on both sides
of each drilling site, shall be inspected by a certified person before any
augering operation is begun, and at least once during each coal producing
shift and all loose material shall be removed from the drilling site before
persons are permitted to enter the drilling area. The results of all such
inspections shall be recorded daily in a book approved by the Secretary.
(b) In addition, the face of all highwalls, to a distance of 25 feet
on both sides of each drilling site, shall be inspected frequently by a
certified person during any auger operation conducted either during or after
a heavy rainfall or during any period of intermittent freezing and thawing
and the results of such inspections shall be recorded as provided in
paragraph (a) of this section.
(c) When an auger hole penetrates an abandoned or mined out area of
an underground mine, tests for methane and oxygen deficiency shall be made
at the collar of the hole by a qualified person using devices approved by
the Secretary to determine if dangerous quantities of methane or
oxygen-deficient air are present or being emitted. If such is found no
further work shall be performed until the atmosphere has been made safe.
(d) Tests for oxygen deficiency shall be conducted with a permissible
flame safety lamp or other means approved by the Secretary and all tests for
methane shall be conducted with a methane detector approved by the
(e) Internal combustion engines shall not be operated in the vicinity
of any auger hole in which tests for methane or oxygen deficiency are being