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One of the most important principles in underground coal mining is proper ventilation. The basic standard of mining safety states that ventilation must be sufficient; to dilute, render harmless and carry away the hazardous components of mine air, such as potentially explosive methane; and to provide necessary levels of oxygen to the miners’ working environment.
The history of mining is filled with tragic incidents where one aspect or another of a necessary ventilation safety protection was either not in place or was not followed, with disastrous results. Preventing the recurrence of disasters like those of the past remains one of the top priorities in the mining industry.
In order to sustain a safe work environment, we must all do our part in maintaining the ventilation to all parts of the mine and working faces.
Important rules to follow:
- Maintain all curtains in the face areas according to the mine ventilation plan; remember it takes everyone to keep a mine safe. If you see a curtain torn down, take the time to put it back up to prevent a short circuit of air.
- Keep doors closed when not traveling through them. Mandoors and airlock doors exist to allow workers or equipment to pass through without short-circuiting the air current.
- Both airlock doors should never be opened at the same time. If both doors are open, air will short circuit, and air will not travel to the area it was intended. Many think that it will only take a couple of minutes and that will be okay, but that is definitely the wrong way of thinking.
- Never adjust a regulator without proper authorization. Any changes in the amount of air from one area to another should be discussed and checked before and after any adjustments to regulators.
Remember we must all do our part in the ventilation of our mines, keep curtains hung, close all doors when we travel through them, and do not make any adjustments to the air current without proper authorization. Keeping fresh air to the working face keeps us cool and safe. Do your part!
KEMI does not assume liability for the content of information contained herein. Safety and health remain your responsibility. This information is to be used for informational purposes only and not intended to be exhaustive or a substitute for proper training, supervision or manufacturers’ instructions/recommendations. KEMI, by publication of this information, does not assume liability for damage or injury arising from reliance upon it. Compliance with this information is not a guarantee or warranty that you will be in conformity with any laws or regulations nor does it ensure the absolute safety of any person, place or object, including, but not limited to, you, your occupation, employees, customers or place of business.