Fire safety in underground mines

The mining industry in Pennsylvania faces fire hazards every day. That’s why both employers and employees should know about flammability risks and how training, personal equipment and new technology can help to ease them. There are, first of all, the standards set by the Mine Safety and Health Administration that employers must follow.

Ventilation and atmosphere monitoring a must

Many mines have poor ventilation systems, and employers may not even be monitoring the levels of smoke and toxic gases. These are two crucial factors in fire safety.

Fortunately, new technology can help ventilate these confined spaces more efficiently. Ventilation on demand will send clean air to any areas where sensors detect the presence of workers and heavy machinery. Machines, especially conveyor belts, are what produce gases.

Training and equipping miners

Tunnel operators should make sure that workers have all the proper equipment. This includes personal protective equipment like breathing apparatuses as well as gas detection units and fire suppression systems. Training workers in the proper use of their PPE and evacuation routes is also key.

Mine owners should consider the various devices offered by Carroll Technologies. The nationally known safety product maker supplies mines with self-contained self-rescuers. These include handheld oxygen packs, fire-fighting equipment and foam packs. Carroll Technologies even offers devices that monitor conveyor belt activity and measure the risk for events like equipment breakdown and worker falls.

Finding an attorney who can help

If you were seriously hurt in a mine fire or developed a respiratory condition because of continual exposure to dust or toxic gases, then you have two options. If you believe you were the victim of someone else’s negligence, then you could file a personal injury lawsuit. The other option is to file for workers’ compensation. The benefits can be paid out regardless of who, if anyone, was at fault.

You may have an attorney evaluate your case and then assist with every step of the filing process. Your employer may deny benefits, in which case the attorney may help you mount an appeal.