NIOSHTIC-2 Publications Search
How smoke hinders escape from coal mines.
Min Eng 1992 Jan; 44(1):79-83
This U.S. Bureau of Mines study predicts the level of smoke that miners might meet while trying to escape a coal mine fire and describes how smoke would impede their safe escape. For this study, the authors assumed that miners exit through an escapeway adjacent to the burning entry and that some air would leak from the burning entry to the escapeway. The following conclusions were made: (1) a very low amount of air leakage to the escapeway can produce a critical level of visual obscurity from smoke, showing that intake airways may be as susceptible to smoke visibility problems as return airways, (2) this critical level of smoke obscurity is reached much before a critical level of carbon monoxide is reached, and (3) small fires can cause a severe sensory irritation that further limits vision; thus, reliable eye protection is very important. These results show that methods to guide miners through dense smoke will contribute greatly to saving lives during mine fires.
OP; Journal Article
Issue of Publication
Page last reviewed: April 12, 2019
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division