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Ensuring Mine Rescue Equipment is Always Ready

May 20, 2021

It’s been 115 years since Bernhard Dräger, one of the founders of the company Dräger, answered the call for support following an explosion at a coal mine in France, bringing with him a breathing apparatus he had developed. This device quickly gained a reputation as being far superior to other solutions available at the time.

While emergency responses and equipment have continually improved in the decades since (and the company Dräger remains a global leader in medical and safety technology), mining remains a dangerous industry with the constant need for health and safety vigilance.

That’s why every mining operation should have a comprehensive and up-to-date mine emergency response plan (MERP). Each MERP is unique to ensure personnel at a mining operation are readily prepared for unexpected and dangerous situations.

In addition to tailored actions and training, a MERP outlines the amount and uses of specific equipment required by rescue teams, which might include such items as breathing apparatus, ventilators, gas monitors, cutters and saws. Pieces of equipment needed are generally determined through risk assessment processes, as well as the size and nature of the operation – and must comply with local standards and protocols.

A MERP might contain a full list of mine rescue equipment available onsite, exactly where it is located, and the check-in/check-out process for emergency situations. Even if emergency check-ins/check-outs are the same as regular operations, this should be specified in the MERP.

Some jurisdictions may require safety personnel to send mine rescue equipment inventory reports to a local governing body or regulator. Inventory reports can also be used to help with inspection planning, maintenance and re-ordering scheduling, and standardization between multiple sites.

Ensuring necessary equipment is readily available for deployment is vital for the effectiveness of mine emergency responses and saving lives. It also allows rescue teams to conduct their missions without the fear of being unable to effectively access or operate mine rescue equipment.

The Focus FS Mine Rescue Solution helps you effectively manage your operation’s mine rescue equipment. Our all-in-one intuitive system allows you to automate and simplify tool crib management and security; schedule and conduct inspections, verifications and certifications; and manage inventory and maintenance programs. Our user-friendly digital forms also help you improve your compliance reporting and legal record-keeping.

Sources:

British Columbia Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources:

https://www2.gov.bc.ca/assets/gov/farming-natural-resources-and-industry/mineral-exploration-mining/documents/health-and-safety/code-review/merp_guideline_2017_revision_final.pdf

Dräger:

https://www.draeger.com/en-us_ca/Safety/Mining/Draegerman

Government of Western Australia Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety:

https://www.dmp.wa.gov.au/Documents/Safety/MSH_COP_EmergencyManagement.pdf

Workplace Safety North:

https://www.workplacesafetynorth.ca/subsite/mine-rescue/equipment

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