Skip to content
MSHA - Title 30 CFR
30 CFR § 7.505

Structural components.

    (a) The structure shall-- (1) Provide at least 15 square feet of floor space per person and 30 to 60 cubic feet of volume per person according to the following chart. The airlock can be included in the space and volume if waste is disposed outside the refuge alternative.
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                            Unrestricted
                                                           volume (cubic
                  Mining height (inches)                     feet) per
                                                              person *
------------------------------------------------------------------------
36 or less...............................................           30
>36-<=42.................................................           37.5
>42-<=48.................................................           45
>48-<=54.................................................           52.5
>54......................................................           60
------------------------------------------------------------------------
* Includes an adjustment of 12 inches for clearances.

    (2) Include storage space that secures and protects the components during transportation and that permits ready access to components for maintenance examinations.

    (3) Include an airlock that creates a barrier and isolates the interior space from the mine atmosphere, except for a refuge alternative capable of maintaining adequate positive pressure.

    (i) The airlock shall be designed for multiple uses to accommodate the structure's maximum occupancy.

    (ii) The airlock shall be configured to accommodate a stretcher without compromising its function.

    (4) Be designed and made to withstand 15 pounds per square inch (psi) overpressure for 0.2 seconds prior to deployment.

    (5) Be designed and made to withstand exposure to a flash fire of 300 [deg]F for 3 seconds prior to deployment.

    (6) Be made with materials that do not have a potential to ignite or are MSHA-approved.

    (7) Be made from reinforced material that has sufficient durability to withstand routine handling and resist puncture and tearing during deployment and use.

    (8) Be guarded or reinforced to prevent damage to the structure that would hinder deployment, entry, or use.

    (9) Permit measurement of outside gas concentrations without exiting the structure or allowing entry of the outside atmosphere.

    (b) Inspections or tests shall be conducted as follows:

    (1) A test shall be conducted to demonstrate that trained persons can fully deploy the structure, without the use of tools, within 10 minutes of reaching the refuge alternative.

    (2) A test shall be conducted to demonstrate that an overpressure of 15 psi applied to the pre-deployed refuge alternative structure for 0.2 seconds does not allow gases to pass through the structure separating the interior and exterior atmospheres.

    (3) A test shall be conducted to demonstrate that a flash fire of 300 [deg]F for 3 seconds does not allow gases to pass from the outside to the inside of the structure.

    (4) An inspection shall be conducted to determine that the overpressure forces of 15 psi applied to the pre-deployed refuge alternative structure for 0.2 seconds does not prevent the stored components from operating.

    (5) An inspection shall be conducted to determine that a flash fire of 300 [deg]F for 3 seconds does not prevent the stored components from operating.

    (6) A test shall be conducted to demonstrate that each structure resists puncture and tearing when tested in accordance with ASTM D2582- 07 Standard Test Method for Puncture-Propagation Tear Resistance of Plastic Film and Thin Sheeting. This publication is incorporated by reference. The Director of the Federal Register approves this incorporation by reference in accordance with 5 U.S.C. 552(a) and 1 CFR part 51. A copy may be obtained from the American Society for Testing Materials (ASTM), 100 Barr Harbor Drive, West Conshohocken, Pennsylvania 19428-2959. A copy may be inspected at any MSHA Coal Mine Safety and Health district office,; or at MSHA's Office of Standards, 1100 Wilson Blvd., Room 2353, Arlington, Virginia 22209 (phone: 202- 693-9440); or at the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). For information on the availability of this material at NARA, call 202-741-6030, or go to: http://www.archives.gov/federal_register/code_of_federal_regulations/ibr_ locations.html.

    (7) A test shall be conducted to demonstrate that each reasonably anticipated repair can be completed within 10 minutes of opening the storage space for repair materials and tools.

    (8) A test shall be conducted to demonstrate that no harmful gases or noticeable odors are released from nonmetallic materials before or after the flash fire test. The test shall identify the gases released and determine their concentrations.

    (c) If pressurized air is used to deploy the structure or maintain its shape, the structure shall--

    (1) Include a pressure regulator or other means to prevent over pressurization of the structure, and

    (2) Provide a means to repair and re-pressurize the structure in case of failure of the structure or loss of air pressure.

    (d) The refuge alternative structure shall provide a means--

    (1) To conduct a preshift examination, without entering the structure, of components critical for deployment; and

    (2) To indicate unauthorized entry or tampering.