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Since the Sago, Aracoma and Darby accidents and subsequent enactment of the Mine Improvement and New Emergency Response Act of 2006 (MINER Act), MSHA has investigated new communications and tracking technologies. Initially, MSHA conducted a search of available technologies, published a request for information and hosted a public meeting in Washington DC in March 2006. Based upon the findings from this investigation, MSHA selected a cross-section of new technologies and conducted tests at the CONSOL Energy McElroy Mine to evaluate potential application of such technologies in underground coal mines. The findings were published in a report that is available at the link provided below.

In response to the identified industry need, MSHA received a significant number of approval requests for a new generation of communications and tracking technology. Additional requests continue to be received. Our Technical Support Directorate reviews these products and proposals and assists interested manufacturers in obtaining MSHA approval.

Manufacturers must obtain the appropriate MSHA approvals for the systems to be used in gassy underground mines. We encourage all interested manufacturers of communication and tracking technologies to contact us.

Interested parties should contact Wesley Shumaker at

MSHA-approved Communication and Tracking Technologies

Program Policy Letters

Compliance Guide


Public Meeting Held on Communications and Tracking Technologies

Underground Communications and Tracking System Tests at CONSOL Energy, Inc., McElroy Mine
NIOSH Website
  • Emergency Communications and Tracking