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U.S. Department of Labor

Mine Safety and Health Administration
1100 Wilson Boulevard
Arlington, Virginia 22209-3939

ISSUE DATE: December 27, 2010


                       Administrator for
                       Coal Mine Safety and Health

                        JEFFERY H. KRAVITZ JEFFERY H. KRAVITZ
                       Acting Director of Technical Support Mine Safety and Health

SUBJECT:     Re-Issue of P08-08 - Precautions for the Use of the Analysis of
                    Retreat Mining Pillar Stability (ARMPS) Computer Program

Coal mine operators, miners and miners' representatives, and Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) enforcement personnel should receive this bulletin.

The purpose of this Program Information Bulletin (PIB) is to provide notice to the mining community that a new version of the Analysis of Retreat Mining Pillar Stability (ARMPS) computer program is available that incorporates pressure arch theory, more complex geometries, and warning messages that correspond with several issues. This PIB also alerts the mining community to precautions that should be taken when using this new version. The latest version of ARMPS is available at the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) web site: MSHA strongly encourages mine operators to use the updated program.

The ARMPS program was developed by NIOSH (and the former US Bureau of Mines) to assist the mining industry in evaluating ground stability during pillar recovery operations. Based on panel geometry and several additional user inputs, the program calculates stability factors that can be compared to a relatively large database of successful and unsuccessful case histories. The program was first introduced in 1995, modified substantially in 2002 when additional case studies (under deeper overburden than the original data set) were included and corresponding design criteria were introduced, and updated again in February 2008 to include warning messages when recommended design criteria were not met. A new version was released in September 2010 (version 6).

ARMPS program users should be alert to the following issues:
The Federal Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977, as amended, 30 U.S.C. § 801 et seq.; 30 C.F.R. § 75.203.

Internet Availability
This PIB may be viewed on the Internet by accessing the MSHA home page at "Compliance Info" and "Program Information Bulletins." An updated version of the ARMPS can be downloaded free of charge from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) at

Issuing Office and Contact Person(s)
Coal Mine Safety and Health, Division of Safety
Chris Mark (412) 386-6522

Technical Support
Joseph Cybulski, (412) 386-6920

MSHA Program Policy Manual Holders
Underground Coal Mine Operators
Coal Special Interest Groups