Evaluation of emergency chambers

WEST Virginia University researchers Dr Felicia Peng and Dr Keith Heasley have been working in conjunction with the West Virginia Office of Miners' Health, Safety and Training on evaluating emergency chamber/shelter technology.

Donna Schmidt

Published in the March 2007 American Longwall Magazine

The refuge requirements outlined in the West Virginia Emergency Rules governing protected clothing and equipment of June 9, 2006, and its amendment on January 18, 2007 was the main impetus for the evaluations.

There are various factors to be met in the testing of the group of units (a total was not available at press time), such as the structure integrity, ventilation system integration, scrubbers and waste treatment methods. The number of crew intended to use the specific test refuge will also be looked at.

The professors said they will measure each unit against the evaluation criteria to determine how many meet it and to what extent. As the project continues, the team said they also plan to set up evaluations to ascertain the most efficient process for inspection of the shelters and how to maintain good use condition.

The project makes up one of three under a $US150,000 grant from the West Virginia Coal and Energy Research Bureau. All three of the projects will be assembled into respective reports with the research teams’ recommendations.

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