Since the Sago, Aracoma and Darby accidents and subsequent enactment of the Mine Improvement and New Emergency Response Act of 2006 (MINER Act), MSHA has investigated new communications and tracking technologies. Initially, MSHA conducted a search of available technologies, published a request for information and hosted a public meeting in Washington DC in March 2006. Based upon the findings from this investigation, MSHA selected a cross-section of new technologies and conducted tests at the CONSOL Energy McElroy Mine to evaluate potential application of such technologies in underground coal mines. The findings were published in a report that is available at the link provided below.
In response to the identified industry need, MSHA received a significant number of approval requests for a new generation of communications and tracking technology. Additional requests continue to be received. Our Technical Support Directorate reviews these products and proposals and assists interested manufacturers in obtaining MSHA approval.
Manufacturers must obtain the appropriate MSHA approvals for the systems to be used in gassy underground mines. We encourage all interested manufacturers of communication and tracking technologies to contact us.
Interested parties should contact David Chirdon at firstname.lastname@example.org
MSHA-approved Communication and Tracking Technologies
Program Information Bulletin
- P10-22 - Emergency Response Plan (ERP) Reviews of Post-Accident Communication and Electronic Tracking Systems
Procedure Instruction Letter
- I11-V-6 - Inspection of Post-Accident Communication and Electronic Tracking Systems
Program Policy Letters
- P11-V-13 - Guidance for Compliance with Post-Accident Two-Way Communications and Electronic Tracking Requirements of the Mine Improvement and New Emergency Response Act (MINER Act)
- P11-V-11 - Approval of Communication and Tracking Devices Required by the Mine Improvement and New Emergency Response Act of 2006 (MINER Act)
- P13-V-09 - Two-Way Communication and Electronic Tracking System: Potential Interference of RF Electromagnetic Fields with Electric Blasting Circuits
- Questions and Answers on MSHA'S Program Policy Letter (PPL) (P11-V-13) on Post-Accident Two-Way Communications and Electronic Tracking Requirements of the Mine Improvement and New Emergency Response Act (MINER Act)
- Mine Communications and Tracking Tutorial
- Tutorial on Wireless Communications and Electronic Tracking - Part 2: Advanced
This document is being provided to the mining industry as a working draft. The intent is to make information available to labor, industry, regulators, and academia that is relevant to the Communications and Tracking systems that are being installed for compliance with the MINER Act.
Public Meeting Held on Communications and Tracking Technologies
- Request for Information - Underground Communications and Tracking of Underground Miners.
- Listing of Comments
- A transcript of the meeting and presentations given at the meeting