Scaling – What can go wrong

What can go wrong?

Scaling onto someone else.

So the moral to this story is have a good look around before you start scaling and if you do join someone that is already scaling, stop the job, and talk to the other person about the job happening and where you both should start.

When scaling people sometimes get what we call “white line fever”. This happens to people when they scale, all they can see is the rock that needs to come down and they don’t think about the consequences of bringing the rock down. Always check to see where the rock is going to fall, before scaling the rock down. There has been no end of electrical cable, pump, services and electrical boxes destroyed by people with white line fever.

Removing a key stone. A key stone is a rock holding several other rocks in place the same way a keystone works in a stone bridge. The easiest way to avoid a key stone is always work from good ground to bad.

A rock sliding down a scaling bar? Sometimes when scaling, a rock will slide down the bar. This can happen for a number reasons, including:

Scaling a key stone.

The rock breaking up when it comes down.

Scaling the wrong way (using the tip the wrong way round).

Once you drop the bar the rock will fall with the bar. This avoids the rock sliding down the bar and collecting your hands and legs.

Rocks that just fall. In some cases, even the best scaling programs can miss things and the ground is always moving, so how can we minimise our risk ? Wherever you are in an underground mine always think about where you are standing. Where do you think is the safest place to stand? Away from the walls under a rock bolt or any form of ground support if possible.