MSHA issues emergency response plan guidance

TO HELP operations determine the best emergency response plans now required under the MINER Act, the US Mine Safety and Health Administration has released a guidance memo on items each plan must include.
MSHA issues emergency response plan guidance MSHA issues emergency response plan guidance MSHA issues emergency response plan guidance MSHA issues emergency response plan guidance MSHA issues emergency response plan guidance

Rescue exercise underway

Donna Schmidt

The agency outlined seven points, all of which must be considered in the development of each mine’s own plan, all of which are to be submitted to the operation’s district office by August 14. They include:

All mines must install communications technology for post-accident use that is “likely to survive an accident”

All mines must have a tracking system to locate all underground personnel before an accident (to verify their last known locations until post-accident tracking technology is developed);

All mines must maintain “breathable air” rescuer storage for escaping or trapped workers;

All mines must have lifelines installed to assist workers in escape efforts in poor visual conditions;

All mines must conduct evacuation training as well as SCSR hands-on instruction for all underground personnel;

All mines must develop a post-accident plan for promptly notifying the proper personnel and emergency responders;

All mines must have materials stored that will provide shelter and sustain miners trapped after an accident.

 

MSHA’s acting administrator emphasized the importance of the new requirements, saying: “All underground coal mines must have the materials necessary to save and preserve lives after a serious accident.”

 

The MINER Act, also known as the Mine Improvement and New Emergency Response Act of 2006, was signed into law by President George Bush on June 15 and has been hailed as the most significant mine safety legislation in 30 years.

 

An amendment of the Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977, it contains a number of provisions to improve safety and health in America's mines.

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