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Mine Safety and Health Administration MSHA's Accident Prevention Program
Miner's Tip

Walking Bleeders And Returns

Safety Something YOU can live with!
Mine Type: UG Metal/Nonmetal - UG Coal
Category: Ventilation


Miners have been overcome when they entered oxygen-deficient areas while walking bleeders and returns. A miner died in 1996 when he encountered bad air while climbing over a roof fall that had been properly supported in a bleeder entry. When walking bleeder and return entries, certain precautions should be taken to help ensure your safety.

1) When crossing a fall that has been properly supported, lead with your gas detector and move slowly so that your detector, and you, have plenty of time to react to dangerous gases or oxygen deficiency.

Walking Bleeders 2) If traveling with a partner, cross a fall one at a time in case a situation should arise where one of you needs assistance getting off the fall.

3) Walk slowly through an area that is adjacent to "old works" with your gas detector in front of you. Remember "black damp" is heavier than air and will be found closer to the bottom. Special attention should be given to return and bleeder entries located over mined out areas. This situation may exist when multiple seams are mined.

4) When traveling alone, always let someone else know where you will be traveling and provide them with an estimate of the time it should take.

5) Carry an extra self-rescuer in case an emergency should arise where a second unit would be needed for you to travel to fresh air.

Special thanks to C.W. Moore, Ventilation Division, MSHA Technical Support
Date reissued: 3/20/02

Reissued: 04/30/2002
Tag # AP2002-M045


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