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Mine Safety and Health Administration
MSHA's Accident Prevention Program
Innovative Products

Communication/Tracking -
Distress Feature

Safety Something YOU can live with!

An innovative "miner in distress" call feature is available on many communication and tracking systems, including portable radios. A button is depressed to activate this feature, and causes a distress signal to be sent to the person monitoring the system in the mine office. This feature is designed to improve emergency response should a miner become incapacitated or entrapped and require immediate assistance. Many manufacturers can tailor which button activates this feature, based on a mine operator's request.

For the "miner in distress" feature to work, the miner must be within a wireless coverage area, and the button must be within reach of the miner. The mine operator should develop an emergency response plan (ERP) to include use of these distress signals, and train all miners in the plan.

Communication/Tracking - Distress Feature

For information on manufacturers that are known to MSHA to have such products available, contact MSHA's Applied Engineering Division at 304-547-2303 or e-mail