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Fee Calculation

Waiver of Application Fee for Testing, Evaluation and Approval of Mining Products
Title 30, Code of Federal Regulations, Part 5 requires applicants to submit an application fee for each product approval action listed in the fee schedule which is subject to an hourly rate. That application fee is no longer required by MSHA.

Waiver of the application fee eliminates any potential delay in the initiation of processing approval actions. The waiver of this application fee will not reduce the total cost to the applicants seeking product approval. The final invoice issued by MSHA will include all costs for time expended.

Fee Estimate Provisions for Approval Applications
The Approval and Certification Center offers several pre-authorization options that an applicant may consider when submitting applications under 30 CFR Parts 7, 15 through 29, 33, 35, and 36. Pre-authorization provides a mechanism for MSHA to begin evaluating or testing of the applicant's product prior to the fee estimate process. Examples of pre-authorization available to the applicant include:

  1. A pre-authorization notice, authorizing MSHA to expend a stated amount of money in evaluating or testing the applicant's product while the MSHA fee estimate process proceeds, is submitted with the application. This will allow immediate evaluation work to begin if there are no other applications awaiting initial actions.

    After receipt of an application with attached pre-authorization, the Approval and Certification Center will provide an estimate of the total anticipated charges and continue with processing or cancel the action depending upon the applicant's response to the estimate letter. If the applicant chooses to cancel, fees will be charged for work performed up to the cancellation.

  2. A statement authorizing MSHA to expend the necessary amount of money to process a specific application, without a stated maximum, is submitted with the application. This statement permits work to begin immediately on the submitted application if there are no other applications awaiting initial action. The company will not receive an estimate letter for their application. At the conclusion of the investigation, the company will receive an invoice for the processing of the application.

  3. A blanket authorization is a statement prepared by the applicant authorizing MSHA to expend the necessary amount of money to process all applications, without stated maximum, and is submitted with the application. This authorization permits work on all submitted applications to begin immediately if there are no others awaiting initial action. The company will not receive an estimate letter for any of their applications. At the conclusion of each investigation, the company will receive an invoice for processing that application.

Subpart A General Provisions  

18.4 Electrical Equipment For Which Approval Will Be Issued

Interconnection of MSHA Evaluated Mine-Wide Monitoring Systems and MSHA-Approved Equipment
Section 18.4 of 30 CFR indicates that approval will be issued only for a complete electric machine. However, 30 CFR Section 18.20(b) indicates that all possible designs, circuits, arrange- ments, or combinations of components cannot be foreseen and that modifications to the requirements could be made to obtain the same degree of protection. Mine-Wide Monitoring System circuits connected to approved electric equipment in accordance with this policy are intrinsically safe. Therefore, the same degree of protection is provided for the approved machine with or without the interface to the MSHA-evaluated Mine-Wide Monitoring System.

When an electric cable(s) from an MSHA-classified barrier in an MSHA-Evaluated Mine-Wide Monitoring System terminates in an explosion-proof enclosure on MSHA-approved equipment, the following conditions shall be met:

  1. The MSHA evaluation of the specified Mine-Wide Monitoring System shall include the condition of use that permits the system to be connected to MSHA-certified explosion-proof enclosures.

  2. The interconnection of an MSHA-evaluated Mine-Wide Monitoring System and MSHA-approved electric equipment shall be documented on the drawings and specifications submitted by the applicant requesting approval of the electric equipment. When the interconnection results in a modification of existing permissible electric equipment and circuitry within the permissible electric equipment, such modification shall be documented by the operator under an acceptable Field Modification Application or by the manufacturer under an Extension of Approval Application or the Stamped Notification Acceptance Program (SNAP).

  3. Electric cables (data transmission lines from a blue outstation) within MSHA-certified enclosures shall be terminated at a classified barrier with a classification that matches the classified barrier at the blue outstation. A Power Circuit (P.C.) barrier with a voltage in the enclosure is required when power circuits are monitored or power is obtained from within the MSHA-Certified enclosure.
When electric cables leave an MSHA-certified enclosure and terminate in an MSHA-classified sensor, the following conditions shall be met:
  1. The sensor shall have a classification label.

  2. The electric cable shall be shielded and the shield grounded at the MSHA-certified enclosure. Classified barrier grounds shall be connected to ground within the enclosure using no less capacity than a No. 12 AWG copper wire.

  3. The sensor classification shall have the same letter classification as the classified barrier located within the MSHA-certified enclosure and connected to each individual sensor cable. A barrier classification label shall be attached to the exterior of the MSHA-certified enclosure and in close proximity to each barrier cable entrance. The method of attaching the label shall not impair any explosion-proof feature of the equipment.

  4. No connection shall be made to the data transmission line from the blue outstation between the matching letter-classified barriers. Also, where a P.C. barrier is required, connections to the classified sensor shall only be made between the P.C. barrier and the data transmission line letter-classified barrier at the MSHA-certified explosion-proof enclosure.
Physical isolation shall be provided within an MSHA-certified enclosure by means of an insulated or metallic shield around all barriers and associated electric cables.

Control functions of the monitoring system shall be capable of being manually overridden at the machine.

On approval applications incorporating MSHA-evaluated Mine-Wide Monitoring Systems, a one-line diagram shall show where the monitoring system cable is connected to the machine. The documentation shall include all pertinent electric cable information (size, type, number of conductors, electrical rating,outside diameter). Notes indicating where the requirements above are met shall also be included.

18.6 Applications

Cable Splicing Requirements Specified in Caution Statement
Paragraph 18.6(j) of Part 18, 30 CFR, requires an applicant(equipment manufacturer) to submit a caution statement specifying the conditions for maintaining permissibility of the equipment.A sample statement is provided in Figure 3, Appendix II of Part 18. Paragraph 5 of this statement entitled Cable Requirements, includes a provision permitting no more than five temporary splices in a portable cable.

Part 75, 30 CFR, states that only one temporary splice may be made in any trailing cable. Such trailing cable may only be used for the next 24-hour period. Since this requirement is different from that referenced in the sample statement, all submitted sample caution statements specifying details on splicing are required to reflect this requirement, rather than the allowance for five splices.

Subpart B .... Construction and Design Requirements

18.20 Quality of Material, Workmanship, and Design

Paragraph 18.20(a) of Part 18, 30 CFR, requires equipment to be designed to facilitate inspection and maintenance.

Paragraph 18.20(b) of 30 CFR Part 18 requires equipment to be safe for its intended use.

Acceptance of Fiber Optic Cables and Cables Smaller than #14 AWG
The Mine Safety and Health Administration Approval and Certification Center has established a program for the evaluation of fiber optic cables and will include electrical signaling cables smaller than #14 AWG. This program establishes a mechanism that manufacturers may use to obtain acceptance of the subject cables for mine use.

The program affords MSHA an opportunity to evaluate the application of new technology as applied to the mining industry while providing manufacturers with a means to obtain MSHA evaluation of these products.

A fee will be charged for the evaluation and testing of these products as prescribed under Part 5, 30 CFR. This fee will be determined on an hourly basis similar to the present cable program. The major difference in the new program is that the test procedure has been modified by eliminating the electrical current requirements, changing the ignition time, and changing the pass/fail criteria.

Fiber Optic Cables Used on Approved Equipment
Fiber optic cable that does not contain current-carrying conductors will be acceptable for use on approved equipment, provided it:

  1. is accepted by MSHA as flame-resistant unless totally enclosed within an MSHA flame-resistant hose conduit or other MSHA flame-resistant material, or is totally contained within an explosion-proof enclosure;
  2. is provided with strain relief where it enters any explosion-proof enclosure when the fiber optic cable extends between enclosures not on a common frame;
  3. has all conductive components, such as metallic strength members or metallic vapor barriers, grounded;
  4. has the manufacturer, type, and outside diameter (including tolerances) for the fiber optic cable specified on the drawings submitted for approval; and
  5. is installed in a gland arrangement when existing or entering a explosion-proof enclosure. The gland arrangement or a similar one must have been explosion tested in an MSHA test enclosure at approximately 150 psig.
Cables that contain both optical fibers and current-carrying conductors are considered electric cables and will be required to meet the existing requirements of 30 CFR Part 18.

Any manufacturer's request to use a fiber optic cable in an application that does not specifically meet these requirements will be evaluated on the merit of the request.

Longwall Motor and Shearer Cables
This policy addresses specific longwall cables, namely, motor cables that supply power to all longwall motors, except those on-board the shearer, and shearer cables that supply power to longwall shearers. This policy takes into account that these cables have characteristics of both trailing and intra-machine cables as follows.

  1. Longwall motor cables and shearer cables shall be accepted by MSHA as flame-resistant or be totally enclosed in MSHA accepted flame-resistant hose conduit or other flame-resistant material, have adequate current carrying capacity and short circuit protection for the loads involved, have insulation compatible with the impressed voltage, and be protected from abrasive sharp edges. These requirements currently apply to all cables on permissible face equipment. The application to longwall motor cables and shearer cables is stated here for clarification.
  2. The 30 CFR 18, Table 9 length restrictions do not apply to longwall motor and shearer cables. These cables are evaluated individually at each longwall installation to ensure there is sufficient available fault current to provide adequate protection for the length of the cable used.
  3. Longwall motor and shearer cables with nominal voltages greater than 660 volts shall be of a shielded construction with a grounded metallic shield around each power conductor. Shielding in these longwall cables provides enhanced safety to miners whose normal work tasks place them in close proximity to the energized cables. Should these cables be physically damaged, the shielding would greatly reduce the possibility of exposure to severe phase-to-phase faults or any other type of electrical faults on the circuit.
  4. Longwall motor and shearer cables, like trailing cables once in service may be spliced, provided the splices are properly constructed. Shearer cables, like trailing cables, are constantly moving during mining operations. This movement may bring the cable into contact with surfaces of the mine terrain, mining equipment, and other cables, that occasionally results in a damaged cable that requires repair. Similarly, motor cables, like trailing cables, can be subject to damage requiring repair as a result of falling material at or near the longwall installation.
  5. Energized high voltage shearer cables may be held in place (trained) provided that the miners wear properly rated insulating gloves or use hot sticks. Use of properly rated insulating gloves or hot sticks is encouraged for low and medium voltage shearer cables. However, energized motor cables shall not be handled. The policy does not permit the handling of either shearer or motor cables, except that shearer cables may be trained with electrical gloves or hot sticks. Unlike trailing cables that require extensive handling in normal mining operations, the configuration of longwall installations is such that there is no need to handle these cables except to return the cable to the coursing trough where the cable occasionally has a tendency to slip out.
Pump Motor Cables
MSHA has determined that the length of cable between a starter/controller of an MSHA-approved pump assembly and the pump motor cable fits into the same category for splicing purposes as longwall motor and shearer cables. These pump motor cables can vary from less than 100 feet to more than 1,000 feet and, like trailing cables; they can be exposed to damage from contact with surfaces of the mine terrain and mining equipment.

Disconnecting Devices Installed On-Board Mine Equipment
Disconnecting devices installed on machines submitted for approval under 30 CFR Part 18 must meet Part 75 requirements in order to comply with the requirements of 30 CFR 18.4 and 18.20(b) so that the device is safe for its intended use. In addition, field modifications will be necessary if mine operators seek to install such devices on equipment with approvals that do not include these disconnecting devices.

Load Locking Valves
All hydraulic cylinders used to elevate cutting heads on conveyor booms of loading machines and continuous miners must have hydraulic load locking valves that meet the applicable MSHA criteria in order to be considered as approved under 30 CFR Part 18.

Enclosures Housing Energy Storage Devices
Therefore, to preclude a potential electrical shock hazard, energy storage devices (not including batteries) housed in explosion-proof enclosures are required to be provided with a means of being discharged before they are accessible to maintenance personnel. The maximum discharge time for such energy storage devices must be specified on the drawings on which they appear. The circuit design, a bleeding resistor, or a discharge switch are acceptable methods of satisfying this requirement. The circuit design or bleeding resistor is the preferred form of discharging the energy storage device.

If discharge switches are used, a caution tag shall be on the enclosure cover warning that the discharge switch must be activated before the cover or cover mounting bolts are loosened.

Potential Hazard on Machines Designed with Multiple Functions
Machines that are designed to perform multiple functions from a single drive unit, simultaneously or individually, are required to be of a design that automatically disengages any engaging mechanism drive when the mechanism is shut down.

Circuit Breakers Handle Position
Manufacturers of equipment incorporating circuit breakers are required to provide a means that will make it easily discernible to ascertain the "on-off" position of vertically mounted circuit breakers. The "on-off" position shall be identified both externally, i.e., with the cover of the enclosure that houses the breaker in place, and internally, i.e., with the cover removed.

Flame Resistant Conveyor Belting on Equipment
The subject paragraph requires electrical equipment to be constructed of suitable materials. Section 18.65 of Part 18, 30 CFR, specifies the test procedures and criteria for the acceptance of conveyor belting as flame-resistant (fire-resistant).

Therefore, conveyor belting used on equipment approved under Part 18, 30 CFR, shall be flame resistant (fire-resistant) in accordance with Section 18.65 Part 18, 30 CFR.

Use of Metal Halide or Mercury Vapor Bulbs with Polycarbonate Lenses
Polycarbonate has been accepted as a suitable material with physical characteristics equivalent to 1/2-inch thick tempered glass to be used for luminaire lenses (reference Paragraph 18.46(c) of Part 18, 30 CFR). However, the high levels of ultraviolet radiation and heat generation produced by a metal halide or mercury vapor bulb cause a degradation of the polycarbonate. The change in physical characteristics results in a weakened polycarbonate exhibiting cracking and crazing.

Therefore, the use of metal halide bulbs or mercury vapor bulbs in explosion-proof enclosures with polycarbonate lenses is not acceptable.

Electric Equipment Incorporating Methane Monitors
When methane monitors are incorporated in designs of electric equipment, the following conditions shall be met.

  1. The methane monitor power shut-off relay shall be installed so that all electric motors (including auxiliary fan motors), all lighting circuits, and all electrical power takeoff receptacles (except intrinsically safe receptacles) on the equipment are automatically deenergized when the relay is activated. The methane monitor may remain energized and intrinsically safe lights may remain operational. Operation of these lights shall not require energization of any additional explosion-proof enclosures. On longwall mining systems, approved permissible telephones may also remain energized.
  2. On longwall mining systems, if an additional methane monitor is installed on the shearer, it shall be installed so that all electric motors and all electrical power takeoff receptacles (except intrinsically safe receptacles) on the shearer are automatically deenergized when the relay is activated. The methane monitor may remain energized.
  3. The methane monitor power shut-off relay shall be connected into the control circuitry so that it is not possible to override the methane monitor by holding down or blocking any reset (start) switch in the start position.
  4. The control circuitry shall be connected so that the electric motors will not restart automatically when the methane monitor power shut-off relay is deactivated.
Parking Brakes
Paragraph 18.20(f) of 30 CFR Part 18 requires that brakes be provided for each wheel-mounted machine, unless design of the driving mechanism will preclude movement of the machine when parked. Several fatal accidents have occurred involving electric face equipment when devices designed to trap hydraulic fluid in wheel cylinders were used as parking brakes. This design is deemed inadequate for use as a parking brake because the device might inadvertently cause the brake to release due to a number of factors such as fluid leakage, thermal contraction of brake fluid, or damage to hydraulic parts or brake lines.

To correct this problem, MSHA will not approve equipment with parking brake systems that depend upon locking a column of fluid within the braking system to maintain contact between the friction material and the braking surface. Pursuant to 30 CFR 18.20(b) and (f), the parking brake, when applied, shall hold the mining equipment stationary up to its maximum rated gradeability, despite any contraction of the brake parts, exhaustion of any nonmechanical source of energy, or leakage of any kind.

The majority of rubber-tired Part 18 equipment can comply with the policy. Approval and Certification Center engineers can provide technical assistance on the design of braking systems that need to be brought into compliance.

Red Light Reflecting Material
Paragraph 18.20(g) of 30 CFR Part 18 requires red light-reflecting material on both the front and rear of each mobile transportation unit that travels at a speed greater than 2.5 mph and recommends its use on each end of other mobile machines.

Reflectors or reflecting tape is an acceptable means of satisfying this requirement. However, reflecting paint is not acceptable to satisfy this requirement.

To be consistent with the requirements for Part 75.1719-4, 30 CFR, the reflecting material shall have a minimum area of 10 square inches.

Separate Terminations for Ground and Ground-Check Conductors
When a ground monitoring circuit employs a ground-check conductor to verify the continuity of the grounding conductor to the equipment frame(s), the ground-check and the equipment grounding conductors shall be separately terminated to the metallic frame(s) inside the enclosure(s) of the electrical equipment.