PRT 110: Lesson 8 Electrical Noise, Heat, Radiation, Ergonomic, and Biological Hazards

Lesson Plan


  • Describe the hazards associated with electricity.
  • List the hazards associated with the operation and maintenance of electrical equipment.
  • Describe the hazards of bonding and grounding.
  • Describe the hazards of working with noise, heat, and radiation.
  • List the ergonomic hazards found in the chemical processing industry.
  • Analyze the hazards connected to confined space entry.
  • List the hazards associated with industrial lifting.
  • Identify the biological hazards found in a chemical facility.
  • Describe the primary concerns about bloodborne pathogens. Bloodborne Pathogens–CFR 1910.1030
  • Describe the hearing conservation standard. Occupational Noise Exposure 29 CFR 1910.95
  • Explain the effects of noise on hearing.
  • Review the purpose of hearing protection devices.
  • Describe the selection, use, fit, and care of hearing protection.
  • Explain the purpose of audiometric testing.

Read & Watch

Read chapter 8 of the textbook. Watch the following videos:

Noise Exposure and Hearing Conservation


Ergonomics Awareness: For Employees and Supervisors — Short Version


Electrical Safety Awareness for Non-Electrical Workers



  1. Complete the homework associated with the reading.
  2. Complete the assigned activity.
  3. Complete the activity survey.
  4. Complete the chapter quiz.

Activity Quiz

PRT 110: Lesson 7 Fire and Explosion

Lesson Plan

Learning Objectives

  • Describe the principles of fire prevention, protection, and control.
  • Review the chemistry of fire.
  • Describe the fire classification system.
  • Evaluate the different types of fire extinguishers.
  • Analyze the different fire stages.
  • Identify the various types of fire-fighting equipment.
  • Respond to a fire emergency.
  • Describe flammable and explosive materials.
  • Contrast the Monsanto chemical plant Texas City explosion 1947 with the Union Carbide Bhopal, India vapor release 1984.
  • Evaluate the impact of the Phillips, Houston TX. vapor release and explosion (1989) and the ARCO, Houston TX. explosion (1990) on the development of the process safety management standard.

Read and Watch

Read chapter 7 of the textbook. Watch the following videos:

Extinguisher Use — How to use a Fire Extinguisher


Fire Safety — Fire Extinguisher Types and Use


Bleve Demo



  1. Complete the homework associated with the reading.
  2. Complete the activity.
  3. Complete the activity quiz.
  4. Complete the chapter quiz

Activity Quiz

PRT 110: Lesson 6 Hazardous Chemical Identification: HAZCOM, Toxicology, and DOT

Lesson Plan


  • Describe the Hazard Communication standard.
  • Identify the physical properties and hazards associated with handling, storing, and transporting chemicals.
  • Describe physical and health hazards associated with exposure to chemicals.
  • Describe the key elements of a material safety data sheet.
  • Describe a hazardous chemical inventory list.
  • Explain the purpose of a written Hazard Communication program.
  • Identify methods used to protect process technicians from hazardous chemicals.
  • Identify safety signs, tags, and warning labels utilized by process technicians.
  • Describe toxicology and the terms associated with it.
  • Describe the material classification system for DOT.
  • Describe the Hazardous Materials Identification System.
  • Describe the National Fire Prevention Association labeling system.
GHS hazard signs
Image source Atlantic Training. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.


Read chapter 6 of the textbook and review the following videos.

Introduction to Hazard Identification for Operators and Maintenance Workers

GHS HazCom Training Video

Free OSHA Training Tutorial — Understanding GHS Safety Data Sheets (SDS’s)

NFPA Journal — Hazard Labeling Guidelines in NFPA 704


  1. Complete the homework associated with the reading.
  2. Complete the assigned activity.
  3. Complete the activity quiz.
  4. Complete the chapter quiz.

Activity Quiz

PRT 110: Lesson 5 Hazards of Liquids

Lesson Plan


  • Describe the physical and health hazards associated with liquids.
  • Describe the physical and health hazards associated with solvents.
  • Describe the safety precautions used when spray painting is in progress.
  • Describe the hazards associated with paints and adhesives.
  • Compare and contrast acids and caustics.
  • Explain the PPE used in handling acids and caustics.

Read and Watch

Read chapter 5 of the textbook.

Watch the following videos:

PHMSA Facts – Hazardous Materials Awareness

Flammable vs. Combustible Liquids

Acids, Bases and pH


  1. Complete the homework associated with the assigned reading.
  2. Complete the activity assigned.
  3. Complete the activity quiz.
  4. Complete the chapter quiz.

Activity Quiz


PRT 110: Lesson 2 Hazard Classification

Lesson Plan


  • Describe the hazard classification system.
  • Apply the methods of hazard recognition and classification.
  • Describe common industrial hazards found in the plant.
  • Compare acute and chronic hazards.
  • Describe the physical hazards associated with chemicals.
  • Explain the activities that are associated with ergonomic hazards.
  • Explain how biological hazards affect chemical technicians.
  • Explain the principles of accident prevention.
  • Analyze the principles of accident investigation.
  • Describe the various types of ionizing radiation.

Read and Watch

Read chapter 2 of the textbook.

Watch the following videos:


  1. Complete the homework associated with the reading.
  2. Complete the in-class activity.
  3. Complete the activity quiz (below).
  4. Complete the chapter quiz.

Activity Quiz

AMIT 129: Lesson 14 General Hazards


Upon completion of this lesson students should be able to:

  • Identify and react to sources of noise hazards.
  • Identify and react to vibration hazards.

Reading & Lecture

A noise survey should be carried out to identify areas and equipment where noise levels exceed 85 dB(A) over an 8-hour period and 140 dB peak. Regulations require all practicable steps to be taken to prevent exposure to noise above these levels and in areas where it is not practicable to reduce it, warnings should be posted up and suitable hearing protection provided. Supervision to ensure the protection equipment in used and maintained should be in place. Plant operators are most at risk and soundproofed operator cabins may be necessary to maintain safe exposure levels.

Noise in Mining Production: Types

  1. Impact noise from an object striking another object
  2. Continuous noise over a prolonged period of time
  3. Impulsive noise from an explosion


Hearing Loss

Temporary loss at certain sound frequencies but hearing recovers after a period of time. Can also result from a cold or ear infection.

Permanent loss

  1. Nerve deafness involves damage to the nerve cells of the inner ear resulting from exposure to high continuous noise levels. This damage can rarely be corrected.
  2. Conductive loss comes from infection, fractures or fusing of small bones, or a perforated eardrum resulting from impulsive or impact noises. Hearing is still possible, especially with the use of hearing aids.
  3. Long exposure to noise over 90 dB may eventually harm hearing.
  4. Noises over 130 dB may begin to cause pain.

Control Measures for Noise

  1. Engineering controls
    • Mufflers
    • Insulation
    • Baffles
    • Grease on movable parts
  2. Personal protection equipment.
    1. Ear plugs
      • Reduce noise by 25-30 dB in the higher and more harmful frequencies, so that they give ample protection against sound levels of 115 to 120 dB.
      • Plugs do not hinder hearing conversation in noisy surroundings. iii. Cotton is much less effective than rubber and plastic types.
    2. Ear muffs
      • Reduce noise 35-45 dB so they provide protection against sound levels of 130-135 dB.
      • Liquid – or grease – filled cushions give better noise suppression than plastic or foam rubber types.
    3. Combinations of plugs and muffs give an additional 3-5 dB more protection. Total noise reduction seldom exceeds 50 dB because conduction through the skull around the ear cannot be prevented.
  3. Methods of measurement for noise
    • Dosimeter
    • Sound level meter
  4. TLV’s
    • No exposure shall exceed 115 decibels
    • Impact or impulsive noises shall not exceed 140 decibels, peak sound pressure level


Duration per day,
Hours of exposure
Sound level in decibels
0.25 or less115



  1. Vibration may cause dangerous situations to develop in the form of broken welds and loose bolts but the vibration itself can also be a serious health hazard. Noise and vibration are usually connected so where there is loud noise there is likely to be a vibration hazard as well. Unexpected or excessive vibration may be an indication of an instability problem, particularly on a portable plant. Long-term contact with hand held vibrating machines such as percussion rock-drills can cause circulation damage, usually to the fingers. With continued exposure some permanent loss of feeling in the fingers may develop.
  2. Plant operators exposed to intense long-term vibration are at risk of developing chronic back pain and other complaints due to whole-body vibration. Vibration is generally transmitted to the body from crushing and screening plant surfaces through the feet or through seats. The structure of operating areas should be designed to minimize vibration.


AMIT 129: Lesson 12 Crusher and Mill Operation Safety


Upon completion of this lesson students should be able to:

  • Explain crusher blockage.
  • Summarize crusher maintenance.
  • Identify general hazards associated with crushers.

Reading & Lecture

The hazards involved with blockages, dangerous moving parts, objects being ejected from crushers and mills and maintenance tasks all need careful management.

A ball mill

A ball mill

Common Hazards in Grinding Circuit

  • Torque converters and couplers
  • High pressure of oil
  • Electric motor
  • Water
  • High voltage
  • Rotating big drums
  • Moving machine parts
  • Drive gear

Crusher Blockage

  1. Clearing blocked jaw crushers can be very hazardous and many plant operators have been killed carrying out this task. Blockage incidents can be greatly reduced by supplying rock that is properly sized to match the primary jaw opening. Prevention of oversize in feed material starts at the face with good fragmentation.  Removal of oversize material before delivery to the plant and vigilant control of the crusher feeder will make blockages unlikely.
  2. Remotely controlled methods are recommended for clearing blocked jaw crushers and if manual methods are to be used a comprehensive assessment of the  risks is essential. Rules and safe operating procedures should be established for each task and the operators must be properly trained before being authorized to do this work.
  3. The practice of using of steel bars to lever rocks in blocked crushers has a high accident rate. Hand and back injuries are common but far more serious harm can occur, particularly if an attempt is made to bar material in a running crusher. Bars should never be used on or near a crusher while it is running. Before any barring begins, the plant should be shut down and locked out.
  4. Unstable material that could fall causing injury must be cleared away or made safe. The operator should select a bar that is a suitable length for the job and be positioned so as not lose balance. Appropriate personal protective equipment must be used, including fall protection if necessary. Use of steel wedges to free blocked jaw crushers also has a high potential for serious harm. Wedges can be ejected from a crushing chamber with considerable force and movement of the material in the chamber can also suddenly drag them down. If wedging is done by hand the tool must have a quick easy-release handle. Only mild steel wedges are suitable and while bucket teeth may be well shaped but they should never be used in crushers.
  5. Hooks should not be used in a running crusher unless remotely controlled. Before spalling to break up large rocks inspect the hammer and other equipment to be used and ensure it is in safe working order. Use eye, face and hand protection, and if necessary arm and leg protection as well. Clearing blockages in large jaw crushers by remote controlled hydraulic equipment is recommended but note that this may introduce other hazards such as flying rock chips from impact hammers.

Crusher and Mill Maintenance

  1. Hazards during maintenance are many including falls, being caught in moving equipment and being crushed by heavy components. Recently an overseas operator with more than 4 years experience was killed when a heavy jaw crusher liner plate dislodged as he was attempting to secure it. This type of accident calls attention to the need to have safe maintenance procedures for all tasks.
  2. Maintenance procedures must take account of manufacturer’s instructions and safety warnings. When performing maintenance inside large jaw crushers a specially designed platform may be inserted into the jaws to prevent movement and to provide a secure place to work from. Before lifting ensure the device is suitable for the job, and the load is securely attached with all personnel clear of the danger area. Following placement make sure the load will not accidentally fall or shift before detaching the lifting device.


  1. Electrical work can only be done by qualified electricians but operators should make regular visual checks to ensure that equipment is in a safe condition and that cables remain properly supported and well protected.
  2. Fires are often caused by faulty electrical equipment and suitable fire extinguishing capability should be readily available. Electrical installation rooms must be kept dry and clear of combustible materials and must not be used for general storage. Isolating transformers or earth leakage protection should be used for work with electrical hand tools.

Mill Safety Maintenance Procedure

  • Planning
  • Selecting and briefing the crew
  • Issuing Safe Work Permit
  • Barricading
  • Locking out electrical power
  • Removing the hatches
  • Safeguarding access to the mill
  • Safeguarding welding and cutting
  • Performing other maintenance work
  • Reinstalling the hatch
  • Cleaning up


Planning is needed to ensure close cooperation and coordination between the production and maintenance departments and maintain the safety and efficiency of the task attempt.

Selecting and briefing the crew

Maintenance crew to be selected to perform the job during shutdown and parts and supplies needed for the job must be readily available.

Safe Work Permit

SMP is needed to all jobs to be performed in confined spaces. The checklist includes questions such as these:

  • Hot work
  • Qualified workers or contractors
  • Workers/contractors all briefed
  • Atmosphere testing
  • Emergency rescue
  • Safety equipment
  • Personal protective equipment


Barricading the area around the mill and put signs forbidding entry upon unauthorized personnel

Locking out and tag out

In terms of safety the electrical lockout of the machinery is the single most important step in this procedure.

After the power disconnected, the circuit is tested.

Puts personal locks on the tongs of power. This is to ensure that mill cannot be re-energized until the maintenance is complete.

After the equipment has been properly spotted and de-energized and locked out in the plant the maintenance proceeds to the central control room to tag out the appropriate switching equipment.

Hatch removal

Removing the hatch is of the most difficult and dangerous jobs in the maintenance operations.

Provide following

  • Lightning
  • Ventilation
  • Respiratory protection

 Performing other maintenance work

  • Discharging media
  • Recharging the mill
  • Changing the liners
  • Maintenance of the separators

 Re-installing the hatch

The same as in hatch removal

Cleaning Up

Make sure that the medium container, barricades are removed and the area around the mill is clean.

The maintenance crew members removes lock from switches.  After which the electricians can reconnect and turn on the power, then required lubrication and other routine pre-starting procedures can be performed. Finally remove lockout tags and the safe work permit before turning over the operation of the mill to the production crew.

Supervisors, mill operators and repairman are responsible for the planning and execution of special safety procedures and safeguards which is relate to the maintenance of the mills. This special emphasis on organizing and reaping the crew members in safe procedures while adhering to all safeguards will go far in ensuring the safety of mill personnel and the completion of the work with a minimum of downtime

  2. Mine Safety and Health Administration



AMIT 129: Lesson 11 Mine Electrical Hazards


Upon completion of this lesson students should be able to:

  • Recognize types of electricity circuits.
  • Identify the sources of electricity.
  • Explain the effects of electricity.
  • List types of electrical accidents.
  • Explain rescue procedures.

Reading & Lecture

Electrical Terms

Electrical circuit

  1. An electrical circuit can be compared to a closed water system.
    A diagram of the water analogy to explain electrical current.
    The water analogy
  2. A complete circuit consists of a conductor connecting the power source to the electrical equipment, and another conductor either returning electrons to the power source or serving as a ground. Current cannot flow unless the circuit is complete.
  3. Electricity takes the path of least resistance. Grounding takes advantage of this by connecting the circuit with the earth, which is a good conductor. If a piece of equipment is grounded, should a short circuit occur the current will travel through the ground wire into the earth. Without this ground wire, should a piece of equipment short circuit, any miner who would touch the equipment would serve as the ground. That is, electrons would travel from the equipment through the body into the earth, and this could result in the miner being electrocuted.
  4. Insulation materials have high resistance such that electricity is unable to flow along them. Dry wood, rubber, plastic and glass are good insulators. However, these materials lose their insulating ability when they become wet because water is a conductor of electricity.

Circuit Breakers and Fuses

  1. Fuses and circuit breakers are used to prevent overloading circuits. An overload occurs when so much electricity attempts to travel to the piece of equipment that it would cause the equipment to overheat and possibly blow-up. As the current increases the fuse blows or the circuit breaker trips, interrupting the flow and the equipment thereby shuts down.
  2. When a circuit is broken, it is usually a result of an overload or a short in a piece of equipment. A qualified person should inspect the equipment before resetting a circuit breaker or replacing a fuse.

Electrical Power Can Be One of Two Types, AC or DC

  • DC represents direct current, meaning that the current flows in only one direction. Many kinds of hoists and battery chargers use DC.

Sources of Electricity

  1. Electric power may be purchased by the mine from a utility company and brought to the mine on transmission lines.
  1. Another source of electricity is the gas or diesel driven generator. Generators produce voltage or electrical pressure.
  1. Transformers increase or decrease voltage traveling though lines to match the power requirements of different equipment.
  1. Batteries are also used to power some equipment med in mines. Batteries vary in physical size and voltage. Some mine batteries contain many cells connected in series to produce up to 300 volts.

Uses of Electricity in Mines

  1. Water pumps
  2. Lights
  3. Battery chargers
  4. Electric (fives on haulage trucks
  5. Detonation of explosives
  6. Conveyor belts
  7. Shop equipment including hand tools
  8. Hoists and skips
  9. Slashers
  10. Electric locomotives
  11. Ventilation fans
  12. Communications
  13. Air compressors
  14. Electric drills – auger type
  15. Electric motors on Gills or cutters
  16. Crushers and other processing machinery

Power distribution centers are similar to transformers which change the voltage in an AC power cable. These distribution centers have connections to hook-up cables from various pieces of machinery and equipment that run on electricity.

A diagram of Power distribution systems from generation, to transmission, to distribution, to customers, and to construction.
Power distribution systems from generation, to transmission, to distribution, to customers, and to construction.


Effects of Electricity on Humans

Humans as Electrical Conductors

  1. Electric shock occurs when the human becomes part of the electric circuit. Touching a bare electric wire or cable, or a piece of short- circuited equipment would result in shock if your body offered the least resistance to the ground.
  2. Under most circumstances, a properly attached groundwire provides the path of least resistance to the earth. Contact with a grounded wire can result in a shock, but this would only be slight in nature.
  3. Whenever working with electrical equipment you should wear protective clothing. Rubber boots and rubber gloves should be in good condition with no holes or tears. Additional protection is provided by insulated platforms, rubber mats and belts, dry timbers, and other dry wooden poles and slats.

Water as a Conductor of Electricity

  • The human body is a good conductor of electricity because of the large percentage of water in it.
  • Any pool of water through which an exposed electrical conductor passes is just as hazardous as the wire or cable itself. Any miner making contact with the water will result in electrocution unless the miner is wearing rubber boots.

Effects of Electricity on Health

Shock results when people come into contact with electricity. The stronger the current the worse the shock to the electrocuted miner.

  1. currents of 1 mA or less are safe. You probably couldn’t feel anything at all.
    • 1 mA to 8 mA produces a shock but it isn’t very painful. 5 mA is considered the maximum harmless current intensity.
    • 8 ml to 15 mA are dangerous currents. it produces a painful shock, but your muscular control would not be effected.
    • 15 mA to 20 mA produces a painful shock. Normal muscular control would be overridden because of the strong current, and you probably would not be able to let go of the wire. Your hand muscles would not respond.
    • 20 mA to 50 mA results in a very painful shock. Muscles would contract severely. Your respiratory system could be paralyzed and breathing would be very difficult.
    • 100 mA to 200 mA causes the heart to stop its beat and it twitches or contracts without control. This is called ventricular fibrillation. This is fatal unless immediate cardiac arrest procedures are followed.
    • 200 mA and over leads to severe burns. Muscular contractions become so bad that chest muscles clamp down on the heart and stop it from beating for however long the shock lasts. Death often results.
A visualization of the effects of electric shock.
The effects of electric shock

Electric Burns

As electricity travels through the conductor it generates heat. Electric burns can be caused by touching an overheated conductor, just as you would touch an overheated stove. In some cases enough heat is generated to produce incandescence, such as in a lamp filament, or will result in a ground melting a fuse or setting fire to materials in contact with the over-heated conductor.

Electric Flash

even though the miner may not come into physical contact with an electric arc, the bright flash of light from the arc can cause eye injury due to inflammation of the retina. This kind of light occurs during electric welding, short circuiting, and opening or closing circuits. An electric arc will melt or destroy practically all substances or materials exposed to it, including flesh, muscles, nerves and bones. Contact with arcs results in extensive third-degree bums and often results in death.

Electrical currents should always be treated with respect. Low voltage electricity, as low as 27 volts, is still powerful enough to be lethal when there is low resistance or high current.

Factors Contributing to Electrical Accidents

Unsafe Conditions

  • Whenever using rubber boots or gloves for insulation, check for holes or tears through which your skin could contact the wire or cable.
  • Make sure your connections to power distribution centers and electrical equipment are tight. Splices should be checked for complete connections.
  • Assure that grounds are complete to minimize chances for electrocution. Never take out a round fault wire from a piece of equipment.

Unsafe Acts

  • Always lock-out equipment before beginning work on it.
  • Working very near an energized conductor may be an unsafe act if it is possible that you could accidentally come into contact with it. Always shut the power off before beginning work near electrical lines and equipment.
  • Always be aware of your location relative to energized lines.
  • Never use faulty equipment. Electric hand tools should not have frayed wires.
  • Only authorized personnel are permitted to work on electrical equipment
  • Use insulated protective clothing when working with electrical equipment.
  • Before starting motors make sure everyone is clear so they will not be injured or caught from any sudden unexpected movement of the machine.
  • Avoid driving mobile equipment over unbridged power conductors or dragging loads (such as barrels or bags) over such unprotected cables.


A diagram of ways to rescue an electrical shock victim
Ways to rescue a victim of electrocution


A graph depicting probability of successful resuscitation attempts over time
Probability of successful resuscitation attempts over time


Performance of Electrical Work

  • Only qualified electricians are permitted to work on electrical equipment in the mine.
  • All miners are responsible for reporting to their supervisors any malfunctioning electrical equipment. Report any unsafe work condition to your supervisor. Discuss any unsafe act with the miner to reduce hazardous behavior.

Lockout and Tagout Procedures

Whenever work is done on electrical components or equipment, the power to these units must be disconnected or turned off. By locking out the power, the electrician is assured that no one will accidentally flip the power on while he is working on the unit. The disconnects may be blade switches or plug-receptacle combinations. If two mechanics or electricians are working on a piece of equipment, two locks shall be placed on the circuit breaker box. This will prevent one electrician from energizing the circuit and electrocuting the other person. 2. In addition to the lock-out, a tag-out will permit quick visual observation by others that someone is working on a particular unit. This danger tag means that a circuit is dead or de-energized and should not be turned on. Locks and tags should be removed once the work is completed.



AMIT 129: Lesson 9 Mine Fires and Fire Fighting


Upon completion of this lesson students should be able to:

  • Identify different types of fire.
  • Identify firefighting equipment.
  • Demonstrate use of a fire extinguisher.

Reading & Lecture

The Four Types of Fires

Fire Type A icon fire sign A Wood bases, cloth, paper, rubber, certain plastics
Fire Type B icon fire sign B Flammable liquids, gases, greases, petroleum products
Class C Fire icon fire sign C Electrical equipment
Class D Fire icon fire sign D Combustible metals


These fires occur with ordinary combustible material such as wood, pyritic ore, coal, cloth, paper or oil rags. These materials leave ashes after the fire, so you can associate Class A fires with Ashes. Class A fires are usually fought with water, which cools and dampens the fuel. Also, some special dry chemicals are used to quickly extinguish the flame and prevent reflash.


These fires are burning flammable liquids, such as gasoline, greases, hydraulic oil, diesel fuel, and lubricating oils. The fire occurs in the fumes over the surface of flammable and combustible liquids. Typical Class B fires occur with spills or pools of liquids found near rubber-tired vehicles, drills, bulk fuel storage areas, maintenance shops, and lube operations. Class B fires involve liquids that Boil. These fires are fought with dry chemicals, foam, vaporizing liquids, carbon dioxide and water fog.


These are electrical fires. Typical electric fires include electric motors (as used in fans), batteries, battery chargers, transformers, and circuit breakers. You can associate Class C fires with the electric Current. Class C fires are fought with non-conducting agents, such as dry chemicals, carbon dioxide, and vaporizing liquids. If the current is still on do not fight the fire with water or foam because these conduct electricity, and thereby pose another hazard to fire fighters. Once electricity is cut off the fire can be treated as a Class A or B fire, thereby permitting use of water.


These fires involve combustible metals such as magnesium, titanium, zirconium, and sodium. These fires require special extinguishing agents and fire fighting techniques. Normal extinguishing agents should not be used to fight Class D fires because they could make the fire worse. This is because they may have a hazardous chemical reaction with the burning metal.

Video: Mine Fire Training

Video: Coal Mine Fire Training

When a fire is discovered, your immediate reaction in fighting the fire is crucial. Mere seconds are available for preventing the spread of the fire. For this reason you should know where the nearest fire extinguisher is located, and whether it is permissible for this type of fire. If you are uncertain about the contents of the extinguisher, read the main instructions on the body of the canister.

For most portable fire extinguishers, you usually have to stand no more than 8 feet from the fire. Direct the stream at the base of the flame, not higher up at the smoke. A 30-pound extinguisher will normally last 18 to 25 seconds. Do not turn your back to a fire. When the fire is extinguished, back away from it and watch for any flare up.

Fire Fighting Equipment and Methods

The mine’s fire prevention and fire fighting plan is designed to reduce the opportunity for a fire starting, and should one occur, to limit the extent of its destruction. The damage resulting from a fire can be minimized through adequate fire protection. Fire protection consists of monitoring and controlling fire hazards, available fire fighting equipment, especially portable fire extinguishers, and the personnel who are trained to use the equipment effectively in the event of a fire. The following are some good fire prevention techniques.

Basics of Fire

  1. The necessary ingredients of a fire are fuel, oxygen, and heat. Fire fighting calls for removal of at least one of these ingredients. The fuel can be moved to a safer location. Oxygen can be sealed off from the fire, thereby suffocating it. Or the fire’s heat can be reduced by cooling the fuel.
  2. Fires have been classified into four types based on the kind of fuel involved in the fire. These different kinds of fires are fought in different ways. In fact, using the wrong kind of chemical to extinguish the fire can even spread the fire further.

Video: Types of Fire Extinguishers and Their Uses


Video: Fire Extinguisher Types and Uses


Fire Extinguisher Types

Extinguisher Types of Fire
Color Type Solids (wood, paper, cloth, etc) Flammable Liquids Flammable Gasses Electrical Equipment Cooking Oil & Fats Special Notes
Types of Fire Extinguishers -Water Water check-mark No No No No Dangerous if used on “liquid fires” or live electricity.
TypesOfFireExtinguishers-foam Foam check-mark check-mark No No No Not practical for home use
 Type of Fire Extinguishers - powder Dry Powder check-mark check-mark check-mark check-mark No  Safe use up to 1000v.
Types Of Fire Extinguishers - CO2 Carbon Dioxide (CO2) No check-mark No check-mark check-mark Safe on high and low voltages.





AMIT 129: Lesson 8 Mine Maps, Emergency Evacuation, Barricading


At the end of this lesson, students will be able to:

  • Explain the use mine maps.
  • Describe escapeways.
  • Identify causes of mine emergencies.
  • Explain fire in mines.
  • Describe hazards of toxic gases in mines.
  • Explain mine emergency warning systems.
  • Summarize emergency evacuation systems.

Reading & Lecture

A mine map is a schematic drawing on paper of the mine workings, drawn according to scale and showing all important features of the mine. The mine map is designed by a competent engineer and is periodically updated to reflect all changes in the mine, such as new development areas, abandoned areas, or drill holes.

The mine map shows all important features of the mine. The following list represents the kinds of features that might be shown on the map. The actual contents of the map depend on important features at the mine.

  1. Name and address of the mine
  2. The scale and orientation of the map
  3. The property or boundary lines of the mine
  4. The adit shafts, stops, drifts, tunnels, entries, rooms, crosscuts, and all other excavations of the ore bed being mined
  5. All drill holes that penetrate the ore bed being mined
  6. Dip of the ore bed
  7. Any outcrop of the ore bed within the bounds of the property
  8. The elevations of tops and bottoms of shafts and slopes.
  9. The elevation of the floor at intervals of not more than two hundred feet for:
    1. At least one entry of each working section and one intersection.
    2. Developments advancing toward or adjacent to property or boundary lines or adjacent mines.
  10. Contour lines passing through whole number elevations of the ore bed being mined.
  11. Entries and air courses with the direction of air flow indicated by arrows, and location of fan controls.
  12. The location of all mine ventilation fans.
  13. Escapeways throughout all levels of the mine.
  14. The known underground workings in the same ore bed on the adjoining properties within one thousand feet of such mine workings and projections.
  15. The location and elevation of any body of water dammed in the mine or held back in any portion of the mine.
  16. The abandoned portion or portions of the aline.
  17. Mines above or below the mine workings.
  18. The location of any streams or bodies of water on the surface.
  19. Either producing or abandoned oil and gas wells located within five hundred feet of the mine.
  20. The location of all high pressure pipelines, high voltage power lines and roads.
  21. The location of railroad tracks and public highways leading to the mine and mine buildings of a permanent nature and showing identifying names.
  22. Where the overburden is less than one hundred feet, any dwellings.
  23. Major underground travelways and haulageways and ore passes at the mine.
  24. Major underground facilities including lunchrooms, refuge areas, mine shafts, shops, storage facilities (explosives, fuel, supply), and locations of underground telephones.


Mine Emergency Evacuation Video

Emergency Evacuation Video

Causes of Mine Emergencies

Accidental explosions

  • Dynamite
  • Fuel tanks
  • Electrical Equipment
  • Certain mine gases (hydrogen, methane, etc.)


  • Timber
  • Rubber tires
  • Electrical equipment, including batteries and battery chargers
  • Combustible metals, such as magnesium, titanium, zirconium, and sodium.
  • Rubbish
  • Petroleum products

Toxic gases

  • Gases from undetonated explosives
  • Gases from exploding batteries or other burning electrical equipment
  • Fumes from certain petroleum products
  • Gases from the ore itself

Loss of ventilation due to accidental failure of ventilation fans.

Inundation from water flooding into the mine.

Mine Warning System

Types of warning systems

  1. Visible – colored lights (red or blue, for example) mounted on stands in various parts of the mine.
  2. Audible – emergency alarms that can be heard over most mining equipment throughout the mine.
  3. Smell – stench canisters that release a chemical smelling like rotten eggs. The stench is carried through the mine by ventilation system and fills the entire mine within minutes.
  4. Mantrip drivers – drivers may give personal warnings to individual miners and pick them up for immediate transportation out of the mine.

Emergency Responses of a Miner

  1. The first thing to do in a mine emergency is warn other miners of the situation. Tell everyone to pass the word along so as to assure that all miners are aware of the emergency situation.
  2. Use your self-rescuer if the situation calls for it. In the event of a fire or explosion, put it on automatically in order to minimize your breathing carbon monoxide.
  3. Gather together in designated places according to the mine’s fire and evacuation plan. Stay together and remain calm.
  4. Provide first-aid to any injured miners. If any miners are unable to walk, use a first-aid stretcher or build age using whatever materials (planks, rods, fencing) are available.
  5. A supervisor should take charge of planning and organizing. Because of his experience and knowledge, you should respect and follow his orders. If no supervisor is present, one senior miner should take on the leadership of the group.
  6. If the phones are working, report your situation, location, and intentions to the dispatcher or operator. He may have some helpful information. If you are wearing your self-rescuer, do not remove it. You could use a code system such as the hoist signal system to communicate with the dispatcher by lightly hitting the phone with a tool.

Escapeways and Emergency Evacuation

  1. Your knowledge of the locations of all exits and escapeways from the mine is extremely important. If the main exit out of the mine is blocked, you must be familiar with the secondary route.
    1. Part 57-11-50 states that: “Every mine shall have two or more separate, properly maintained escapeways to the surface from the lowest levels which are so positioned that damage to one shall not lessen the effectiveness of the ethers”.
    2. Escapeways are periodically inspected and maintained in acceptable condition. The law requires that escapeways be maintained in a safe and travelable condition, and that they be marked with conspicuous and easily read direction signs that clearly indicate the ways of escape. For your reference, a mine map is posted at all shaft stations, and at all underground shops, lunchrooms, and other areas where miners congregate. You should know where these locations are from your working area.
    3. When an emergency occurs, you should attempt to reach fresh intake air above the fire or explosion. Air on the return side of the fire or explosion will contain carbon monoxide against which you should use your self-rescuer for protection.
    4. The final leg of your escape from the mine may be traveling an emergency hoist to the surface. Try to remain orderly and calm while waiting for the hoist, and keep your self-rescuer on if you are using it. Follow your supervisor’s orders, and let injured miners take the hoist first so that they can receive medical attention quickly.
    5. After you reach the surface, contact a supervisor or the mine operator immediately so he will know you are out of the mine.
  2. Emergency Evacuation Plan
    1. If you are going to evacuate, first try the route into the intake air so that you will be in fresh air. If that route is blocked, then try the secondary escapeway.
    2. You should carry your lunch bucket because you may need food if you are trapped or if you are forced to barricade.
    3. If the mine is full of dense smoke, use a rope if one is available to tie the miners in a line. Otherwise, keep close together so that no one gets lost from the group. Keep a look-out for fires or other hazardous conditions.

Trapped Miners in San Jose Mine, Chile

Diagram of the Chilean Miner Rescue - threefold rescue plan
A section view of the mine, started in 1895. The cause of the blockage was the collapse of some 750.000 tons of rock.
A diagram of the mine accident details for the mine incident in San Jose
CC BY-SA 3.0

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