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Mine Safety and Health Administration MSHA's Accident Prevention Program
Safety Idea

Diesel Filter Fires!

Safety Something YOU can live with!
Mine Type: Underground Coal Mines
Category: Mobile Equipment, Fire and Maintenance


The installation of paper filters (combustible type) in the exhaust systems of diesel equipment can increase the likelihood of filter fires. Filter fires can even occur on permissible equipment where exhaust temperatures are controlled.

Diesel Filter Fires! Such fires can be attributed to the lack of water in the exhaust system's wet scrubber and the failure of the safety system shutdown float. Adequate levels of water must be maintained in the wet scrubber to prevent filter fires and maintain the permissibility characteristics of the diesel equipment.

The majority of permissible diesel powered machines don't have an indicator for a low water condition in the wet scrubber. Only operator experience or a sudden shut down of the machine indicates this low water condition.

A device has been developed by MSHA that can alert the machine operator of a low water level condition. The design of this device is detailed in an investigative report which can be found using this link.

Issued: 05/13/2004
Tag # AP2004-M104


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