SAQA All qualifications and part qualifications registered on the National Qualifications Framework are public property. Thus the only payment that can be made for them is for service and reproduction. It is illegal to sell this material for profit. If the material is reproduced or quoted, the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) should be acknowledged as the source.
SOUTH AFRICAN QUALIFICATIONS AUTHORITY 
REGISTERED UNIT STANDARD: 

Demonstrate an understanding of pillar failure types, modes and signs of failure 
SAQA US ID UNIT STANDARD TITLE
256852  Demonstrate an understanding of pillar failure types, modes and signs of failure 
ORIGINATOR
SGB Mining and Minerals 
PRIMARY OR DELEGATED QUALITY ASSURANCE FUNCTIONARY
-  
FIELD SUBFIELD
Field 06 - Manufacturing, Engineering and Technology Fabrication and Extraction 
ABET BAND UNIT STANDARD TYPE PRE-2009 NQF LEVEL NQF LEVEL CREDITS
Undefined  Regular  Level 4  NQF Level 04 
REGISTRATION STATUS REGISTRATION START DATE REGISTRATION END DATE SAQA DECISION NUMBER
Reregistered  2018-07-01  2023-06-30  SAQA 06120/18 
LAST DATE FOR ENROLMENT LAST DATE FOR ACHIEVEMENT
2024-06-30   2027-06-30  

In all of the tables in this document, both the pre-2009 NQF Level and the NQF Level is shown. In the text (purpose statements, qualification rules, etc), any references to NQF Levels are to the pre-2009 levels unless specifically stated otherwise.  

This unit standard does not replace any other unit standard and is not replaced by any other unit standard. 

PURPOSE OF THE UNIT STANDARD 
This unit standard will be useful for people who are pursuing a career in rock engineering.

This unit standard is intended to promote general skills, knowledge and understanding of pillar failure types, modes and signs of pillar failure in the mining and minerals sector in order to ensure knowledgeable and informed workers.

People credited with this unit standard are able to:
  • Demonstrate understanding of pillar loading in various environments.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of pillar failure types and modes.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of the signs of pillar failure.
  • Demonstrate understanding of the consequences of pillar failure. 

  • LEARNING ASSUMED TO BE IN PLACE AND RECOGNITION OF PRIOR LEARNING 
    It is assumed that learners are already competent in:
  • Communication and Mathematical literacy at NQF Level 3. 

  • UNIT STANDARD RANGE 
    N/A 

    Specific Outcomes and Assessment Criteria: 

    SPECIFIC OUTCOME 1 
    Demonstrate understanding of pillar loading in various environments. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1 
    The causes of pillar loading are listed in the context of mining operations. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Must include:
  • Stress.
  • Water (bracket pillars).
  • Broken rock (crown pillar, draw point pillars).
     

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERION 2 
    The distribution of stress levels within a pillar is explained in the context of mining operations. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Must include:
  • Elastic environment.
  • Inelastic environment.
     

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERION 3 
    The possible consequences of stress loading on various pillar types are explained in the context of mining operations. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Must include:
  • Crushing/yielding of support pillars.
  • Abutment failure of regional pillars.
  • Fracturing of water/barrier pillars.
  • Failure of bracketed geological structures.
     

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERION 4 
    The effects of pillar and panel layouts on support pillar loading are explained in the context of mining operations. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Must include:
  • Pillar sizes.
  • Pillar spacings.
  • Panel lengths.
  • Regional pillar spacings.
  • Depth.
     

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERION 5 
    The concept of "factor of safety" is explained in terms of pillar loading and pillar strength. 

    SPECIFIC OUTCOME 2 
    Demonstrate knowledge of pillar failure types and modes. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1 
    The pillar failure modes are listed in the context of mining operations. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Must include:
  • Dynamic/Sudden.
  • Quasi-static/gradual.
     

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERION 2 
    The failure types categorized under the dynamic failure mode are explained in the context of mining operations. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
  • Foundation failure.
  • Pillar burst.
  • Pillar run.
     

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERION 3 
    The failure types categorized under the quasi-static mode are explained in the context of mining operations. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Must include:
  • Yielding.
  • Punching.
  • Slabbing.
     

  • SPECIFIC OUTCOME 3 
    Demonstrate knowledge of the signs of pillar failure. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1 
    An explanation of the difference between pre- and post-failure signs is provided in the context of mining operations. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 2 
    The pre-failure signs of dynamic pillar failure are described in the context of mining operations. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Must include:
  • Increased seismic activity rates.
  • Increased closure rates.
  • Increased rate of pillar slabbing.
     

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERION 3 
    The post-failure signs of dynamic pillar failure are described in the context of mining operations. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Must include:
  • Large seismic event.
  • Large areas of collapse.
  • Ejection of slabs from pillar sidewalls.
  • Significant fracturing of pillars.
  • Damage to support units.
  • Closure.
     

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERION 4 
    The signs of the onset of quasi-static failure are described in the context of mining operations. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Must include:
  • Fracturing of pillar walls.
  • Slabbing of pillar walls.
  • Spalling/Scaling.
  • Closure.
  • Closure rate increase.
  • Footwall heave/hangingwall closure between pillars.
  • Falls of ground in the panels.
  • Commencement of support unit failure/yielding.
     

  • SPECIFIC OUTCOME 4 
    Demonstrate understanding of the consequences of pillar failure. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1 
    The roles of pillars are explained in the context of mining layouts. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 2 
    The consequences on the health and safety of underground and surface workers when pillars do not perform their roles are explained in terms of legal and operational requirements. 


    UNIT STANDARD ACCREDITATION AND MODERATION OPTIONS 
  • Anyone assessing a learner or moderating the assessment of a learner against this unit standard must be registered as an assessor with the relevant Education, Training, Quality, Assurance (ETQA) Body, or with an ETQA that has a Memorandum of Understanding with the relevant ETQA.
  • Any institution offering learning that will enable the achievement of this unit standard must be accredited as a provider with the relevant Education, Training, Quality, Assurance (ETQA) Body, or with an ETQA that has a Memorandum of Understanding with the relevant ETQA.
  • Assessment and moderation of assessment will be overseen by the relevant Education, Training, Quality, Assurance (ETQA) Body, or with an ETQA that has a Memorandum of Understanding with the relevant ETQA, according to the ETQA's policies and guidelines for assessment and moderation.
  • Moderation must include both internal and external moderation of assessments, unless ETQA policies specify otherwise.
  • Anyone wishing to be assessed against this unit standard may apply to be assessed by any assessment agency, assessor or provider institution that is accredited by the relevant ETQA. 

  • UNIT STANDARD ESSENTIAL EMBEDDED KNOWLEDGE 
    The following essential embedded knowledge is addressed in an integrated way in the unit standard:

    Knowledge and understanding that the assessor will evaluate:
  • Concepts of support resistance and energy absorption.
  • Calculating the support resistance capability of a support unit.
  • Calculating the energy absorption capability of a support unit.
  • The consequences of incorrectly calculated, inappropriate values or inappropriate application of support resistance and energy absorption.

    Causes and effects (Safety and Health):
  • Use of equipment.
  • Use of personal protective equipment.
  • Adherence to safety requirements.
  • Work related hazards and associated risks.

    Regulations, legislation, agreements, policies and standards:
  • Safety, health and environmental legislation and regulations.
  • Quality policies, standards and agreements. 

  • UNIT STANDARD DEVELOPMENTAL OUTCOME 
    N/A 

    UNIT STANDARD LINKAGES 
    N/A 


    Critical Cross-field Outcomes (CCFO): 

    UNIT STANDARD CCFO IDENTIFYING 
    Identify and solve problems and make decisions using critical and creative thinking.
  • Note: The understanding that the timeous identification of pillar failure and implementation of remedial action can prevent possible large-scale collapses and injuries to fellow workers. 

  • UNIT STANDARD CCFO WORKING 
    Work effectively with others as members of a team, group, organisation or community.
  • Note: The ability of the learner to involve team members in the monitoring of pillar conditions where failure has commenced. 

  • UNIT STANDARD CCFO ORGANISING 
    Organise and manage themselves and their activities responsibly and effectively.
  • Note: The ability of the learner to understand that the safety of other personnel is affected by the responsible and effective identification of pillar failures. 

  • UNIT STANDARD CCFO COLLECTING 
    Collect, analyse, organise and critically evaluate information.
  • Note: The ability of the learner to critically evaluate pillar conditions and report anomalous pillar behaviour. 

  • UNIT STANDARD CCFO COMMUNICATING 
    Communicate effectively, using visual, mathematical and/or language skills in the modes of oral and/or written presentations.
  • Note: The ability of the learner to effectively communicate pillar conditions and changes in the conditions. 

  • UNIT STANDARD CCFO SCIENCE 
    Use science and technology effectively and critically showing responsibility towards the environment and health of others.
  • Note: The use of rock engineering pillar theory to understand the behaviour of pillars and possible consequences. 

  • UNIT STANDARD CCFO DEMONSTRATING 
    Demonstrate an understanding of the world as a set of related systems by recognising that problem-solving contexts do not exist in isolation.
  • Note: The understanding that effective identification of anomalous pillar conditions affects the safety of workers. 

  • UNIT STANDARD ASSESSOR CRITERIA 
    N/A 

    REREGISTRATION HISTORY 
    As per the SAQA Board decision/s at that time, this unit standard was Reregistered in 2012; 2015. 

    UNIT STANDARD NOTES 
    Terminology:

    Specified Requirements:

    Specified requirements include legal and site-specific requirements and are contained in one or more of the following documents:

    Legal:
  • Relevant Acts: e.g. Mine Health & Safety Act and Regulations, 1996 (Act 29/1996), and Minerals Act and Regulations, 1991 (Act 50/1991).
  • Mandatory Codes of Practice.
  • SANS and other relevant Standards.
  • Chief Inspector of Mines' Directives/Instructions.
  • Guidelines issued by the Chief Inspector of Mines.

    Site-Specific:
  • Hazard Identification and Risk Assessments (HIRA).
  • Occupational Health and Safety Risk Management Programme.
  • Managerial Instructions.
  • Mine Standard Procedures.
  • List of Recorded OH&S Risks.
  • Working Guides.
  • Equipment and Materials Specifications. 

  • QUALIFICATIONS UTILISING THIS UNIT STANDARD: 
      ID QUALIFICATION TITLE PRE-2009 NQF LEVEL NQF LEVEL STATUS END DATE PRIMARY OR DELEGATED QA FUNCTIONARY
    Elective  62796   Further Education and Training Certificate: Strata Control Operations  Level 4  NQF Level 04  Reregistered  2023-06-30  MQA 


    PROVIDERS CURRENTLY ACCREDITED TO OFFER THIS UNIT STANDARD: 
    This information shows the current accreditations (i.e. those not past their accreditation end dates), and is the most complete record available to SAQA as of today. Some Primary or Delegated Quality Assurance Functionaries have a lag in their recording systems for provider accreditation, in turn leading to a lag in notifying SAQA of all the providers that they have accredited to offer qualifications and unit standards, as well as any extensions to accreditation end dates. The relevant Primary or Delegated Quality Assurance Functionary should be notified if a record appears to be missing from here.
     
    NONE 



    All qualifications and part qualifications registered on the National Qualifications Framework are public property. Thus the only payment that can be made for them is for service and reproduction. It is illegal to sell this material for profit. If the material is reproduced or quoted, the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) should be acknowledged as the source.