Empirical design methods are derived from statistical analysis of observations and the application of these methods is therefore limited to conditions similar to the underlying data base. Practitioners must have a full appreciation of an empirical design method’s limitations and the case studies that populate it. When selecting an empirical pillar design method consideration must be given to the type of pillar, the rock type and strength, location (or source) of the dataset, and the method used for analyzing or estimating stress. When empirical observations do not exist for a particular scenario, numerical results may provide insight into pillar behaviour. The focus of this paper will be on the various empirical design charts and equations available in literature, however numerical results will also be shown. The limitations of these methods will be discussed to illustrate the importance of understanding how certain methods were created. This discussion will ultimately provide guidelines to aid practitioners in selecting the most applicable pillar design chart or equation for their specific application. By doing so, the practitioner will also understand the limitations of the selected design chart or equation and can adjust their design factors accordingly.

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