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MSHA issues alert on foam ignition hazards

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Photo: Mine Safety and Health Administration

Arlington, VA — Using large quantities of foam products to fill voids can spark underground fires in mines, the Mine Safety and Health Administration is reminding industry stakeholders.

In a recently published safety alert, MSHA cautions that polyurethane-based foam products “will produce heat from an exothermic chemical reaction,” creating a heat and ignition hazard.

Best practices for working safely with foam products include:

  • Use the proper product; don’t fill large voids with foam products that generate a hazardous amount of heat.
  • Follow the manufacturer’s directions.
  • Train miners before handling and using foam, grout and resin products – including on potential heat hazards.
  • Educate miners on chemical exposure hazards and provide them with Safety Data Sheets.
  • Ensure the form used to support foam is fire resistant or fire retardant.

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