NIOSH Software Helps Reduce the Risk of Ground Falls for Miners

Published August 1, 2019

Version 2.0 of NIOSH’s DRIFT software, which was developed by the agency to help reduce the risk of post-blast ground falls in mines, is now available. Controlled blasting is used in underground mines to create entries, or “drifts.” According to NIOSH, poor blast design can lead to loose or damaged rocks in the roof and at the “ribs” of drifts (a rib is the wall of an entry). After blasting is completed, scaling—or removal of loose rock—and damage to supported ground can pose a risk of injuries and fatalities to miners. NIOSH’s DRIFT program is intended to help engineers design perimeter control blast rounds for typical underground drifting applications. The agency stresses that underground blasting with perimeter damage control can reduce the requirement for loose rock scaling and decrease the risk of ground fall injury.

“DRIFT is an invaluable tool for mines that want both more control over their blasting designs and a reduced risk of ground falls for workers,” said Jessica Kogel, NIOSH’s associate director for mining.

DRIFT is an acronym for “Design method to Reduce risk of Injury from ground Falls Technique.” More information about DRIFT is available on NIOSH’s website.