Underground Coal Operators Told to Start SCSR Expectations Training

MSHA published a notice saying three realistic SCSR training units are now available, so operators of underground coal mines have until April 30 to have a purchase order for the units and must complete their first training with them within 60 days of receiving them.

The notice lists three makers of the units: CSE of Monroeville, Pa. (800-245-2224), Ocenco Inc. of Pleasant Prairie, Wis. (262-947-9000), and Draeger Safety Inc. of Pittsburgh (412-787-8383). The training is required by MSHA's final rule on emergency evacuation, which it published Dec. 8, 2006, in response to the MINER Act. Section 75.1504(c) of the final rule is a new provision -- triggered by the Sago Mine survivor's statement that miners found their SCSRs didn't work in that incident, although subsequent tests showed the units functioned as designed -- that requires underground coal mine operators to provide annual self-contained self rescuer expectations training to miners.

The training requires the miner to breathe through a realistic SCSR training unit or an equivalent device that provides the sensation of air flow resistance and heat that the miner would experience when using an SCSR in an emergency. MSHA's contact for information is Patricia W. Silvey, director of the Office of Standards, Regulations, and Variances, at (202) 693-9440, (202) 693-9441 (fax), or silvey.patricia@dol.gov.

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