Mining Contract: Development of Guidelines for Safely Managing Electrical Equipment and Systems in Underground Mines During Mine Emergencies and Other Abnormal Circumstances

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Contract # 200-2008-26556
Start Date 8/13/2008
End Date 9/30/2009
Research Concept

This contract developed guidelines to enable workers and emergency response personnel to safely manage electrical equipment and systems in an underground coal mine during a mine emergency or under other abnormal circumstances. Guidelines are needed to address a lack of mining industry consensus regarding interpretation and implementation of 30 CFR requirements and best practices for shutting off electrical power in a mine emergency to avoid possible ignition of a hazardous atmosphere. The guidelines address other key issues such as: maintaining operation of critical mine monitoring and communication/tracking systems, coordinating with necessary mine evacuation and rescue operations, and compliance with current regulatory requirements, including new MINER Act provisions.

Topic Areas

Contract Status & Impact

This contract is complete. To receive a copy of the final report, send a request to

The final report contains results from an analysis of current problems related to disconnecting electrical power during mine emergencies, as well as recommendations for industry-wide guidelines for managing electrical power systems and equipment during mine emergencies. The report includes the following:

  • A detailed summary of a review of past mine emergencies, and resulting conclusions regarding the management of electrical power systems during mine emergencies
  • A discussion of electrical equipment issues relating to mine emergencies, including an overview of communications, personnel tracking, and mine atmosphere monitoring equipment, and a review of various standards applicable to electrical equipment used in potentially explosive atmospheres
  • An explanation of how expert opinion was considered and used in the subject study
  • A comparison of existing 30 CFR regulations and current common practices for managing power systems during emergencies
  • Comprehensive guidelines for safely managing electrical equipment and systems in an underground coal mine during a mine emergency or under other abnormal circumstances, including details on the approach and basis for guideline development


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Page last reviewed: July 18, 2016
Page last updated: July 18, 2016