MSHA News Release: [07/25/2006]
Contact: Amy Louviere Dirk Fillpot
Phone: (202) 693-9406 (202) 693-9423
Release Number 06-1288-NAT
MSHA Issues Guidance for Developing Emergency Response Plans
Helps Miners Escape Accidents and Protect Miners Trapped After Accidents
WASHINGTON - The U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) has issued guidance to underground coal operators to help ensure that miners have available the equipment they need to safely evacuate a mine following an accident, or to protect them if they are trapped.
"All underground coal mines must have the materials necessary to save and preserve lives after a serious accident," said David G. Dye, acting administrator of MSHA.
Emergency response plans required by the Mine Improvement and New Emergency Response Act of 2006 - known as the MINER Act -- are due to MSHA district offices for approval by Aug. 14. Emergency response plans must include:
- Installation of post-accident communications technology likely to survive an accident;
- A system capable of tracking all underground personnel, so their pre-accident locations can be known until technology allows for post-accident tracking;
- Storage of breathable air for escaping miners and those who might become trapped after an accident,
- Installation of lifelines to help guide miners safely out of mines in smoky conditions;
- Training for all underground personnel on evacuation procedures and hands-on training in the use of self-contained self rescuers;
- A plan to promptly notify key personnel and emergency responders in the event of an accident; and,
- Storage for materials that provide shelter for and sustain trapped miners.
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