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Mine Safety and Health Administration MSHA's Accident Prevention Program
Safety Idea

Plan for a Mine Emergency

Safety Something YOU can live with!
Mine Type: All Underground mines
Category: General Safety, Training

Plan for a Mine Emergency The history of mine emergencies has taught us that we can never be too prepared to respond to these life threatening events. We have also learned that even with the development of modern rescue equipment and techniques, gaps still remain in our capabilities that could hamper or harm a successful mine rescue effort.

MSHA solicited suggestions from mining industry stakeholders on best practices in mine emergency response and preparedness, and recommendations for improvement of mine emergency preparedness and response.

One such suggestion was to use a manual with quick reference sections that can be followed during an emergency. Operators should develop a "what-if" plan to cover typical scenarios that could occur. This plan would be specific to each worker at the mine. It would describe what each miner's responsibility would be during the emergency. An example would describe what a miner would do during the loss of power or activation of a CO alarm. It would describe what electrical circuits are de-energized or what ventilation doors are to be opened or closed.

Although many of these situations are covered as part of the miner's training, it would be advisable to provide a pocket-sized booklet that can be carried or reviewed by each miner underground. It would describe typical situations and what to do if that situation arises.

The plan with all possible scenarios and every person's responsibility should be provided for use in the Mine Emergency Command Center. This should also be provided in a hard-copy booklet form in the event that electronic data is not available. Operators should review important information on MSHA's
Mine Emergency Preparedness and Response Initiative
found on the MSHA internet site at:

Remember: There is no such thing as "too prepared."

MSHA extends a thank you and a tip of the hardhat to
Scott Cohen from Crisis Guidebooks, Inc.
a winner of a limited edition sticker and patch.

If you have a tip you would like to pass on, you can email it to
If your tip is selected, you will receive credit in this space.

Issued: 03/15/2011
Tag # AP2011-99119