Mining Publication: Probability of Making a Successful Mine Escape While Wearing a Self-Contained Self-Rescuer - A Computer Simulation
In an effort to estimate the chances of a miner making a successful escape while wearing a self contained self rescuer (SCSR), a computer simulation was developed which takes into account training in the use of SCSRs, integrity of the apparatus, and oxygen cost of a mine escape. Survival odds for a prototypical escape, and how these odds change when SCSR training is improved were examined. The simulation was applied to four mines that were part of an SCSR donning proficiency field study. The results show that relative survival odds for different mines can vary by as much as 30% and that this difference is due to SCSR donning proficiency. The results also confirm the common sense view that using an SCSR is the best survival strategy and the only one that is tenable over long distances. The real limitation on escape distance was that SCSRs make available only a finite quantity of usable oxygen. This must be taken into account in planning for mine emergencies. The authors suggest that computer simulation may be useful in helping determine where to store SCSR caches along escape routes, in decision making under uncertainty with regard to the choice of which escape route to use, and in group dynamics in mine emergencies.