Mining Contract: Refuge Alternatives in Underground Coal Mines
|Contractor||Foster-Miller, Inc. (now Qinetiq, North America)|
|Contractor City/State||Waltham, MA|
In response to the requirements of the MINER Act, NIOSH initiated this project to develop engineering guidelines associated with the location, construction, and general application of various refuge alternatives. The project goal is to facilitate the mining industry's rapid implementation of viable refuge concepts by addressing technical barriers or knowledge gaps that are hindering the rapid diffusion of refuge technologies throughout the underground coal mining industry.
|Milestone #1 (6/1/2007)|
Phase I (Development of Recommended Refuge Station Criteria): Evaluate the impact (lives saved) that refuge stations could have made on the outcomes of the disasters since 1970 and establish common design criteria for fixed and portable refuge stations.
|Milestone #2 (12/1/2007)|
Phase II (Design, Selection, and Location Criteria): Develop a selection guide for type, size and location of refuge stations; develop type-specific performance specifications.
|Milestone #3 (11/14/2008)||Phase III (Users' Guidance Document): Design a practical mine refuge station bulkhead design; develop a users' guide to select, purchase, or construct and install refuge stations.|
Summary of Results
This contract is complete. To receive a copy of the final report, send a request to OMSHR@cdc.gov
Phase I: Initial results included a review and analysis of mining disasters from 1970 to 2006 with an emphasis on the role refuge stations would have had on the outcomes of the disasters (survival of trapped/escaping mine workers) if they had been available. In addition, refuge station design parameters were developed.
Phase II: A subset of mining disasters where refuge stations may have had a significant benefit were analyzed. The atmospheric management requirements for refuge stations were analyzed and detailed. Methane explosion blast pressure-time curves were used to provide specifications for blast resistance refuge stations. A cost comparison of alternative refuge stations was provided and two design concepts for bulkhead-based refuge stations were developed. Tools or matrices were developed for:
- selecting a refuge station type, location, and size,
- life support requirements,
- general supplies and infrastructure, and
- use of a Universal Refuge Bulkhead.
Phase III: A guidance document for the selection, installation, and provisioning of refuge stations was developed. The design and construction of a universal fixed bulkhead refuge station was also documented.