Report: APP CMHS Project 1




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3.1.15. Emergency Management

Current Technologies

Most of the preceding technology is appropriately focussed on eliminating or reducing the severity of underground coal mining hazards. However, in the event that the hazard cannot be controlled, emergency responses must be available and implemented. These systems incorporate both personal responses and the use of escape apparatus. Personal responses to established protocols, procedures and training will not be covered in this report. Equipment is divided into two types; self escape and aided escape.

  • Self escape equipment includes breathing apparatus (chemical oxygen or compressed air), change over stations, refuge bays, route marking and escape vehicles.

  • Aided escape includes mines rescue based breathing apparatus, communication systems, extrication apparatus, remote fire fighting equipment such as inert gas generators and high expansion foam, automated mine search vehicles and gas monitoring equipment.

Application Sites

The safety management system is a requirement in all underground coal mines in Australia.

Technology Gaps

  • Rapid deployment of large diameter drill rigs for the extrication of trapped mineworkers.

  • Production model escape vehicles that can safely operate in explosive or extinctive atmospheres.

  • Individual self rescuer change-over stations are at prototype stage at SIMTARS and will potentially provide a place of comparative safety for a person to change a spent rescuer with a fresh unit.

  • Remote search vehicles have been developed as prototypes based on similar units used in military applications. Further development is required for confidence in operation in real-mine conditions.


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