New training explains hand signals for miners

Washington – NIOSH recently created a training program covering non-verbal communication signals for underground coal miners in the event of an emergency.

In the past, after putting on a breathing apparatus known as a self-contained self-rescuer, miners have removed the mouthpiece to speak, risking exposure to toxic chemicals. The instructor’s guide (.pdf file) teaches miners to use hand signals so they do not have to remove their breathing equipment.

The training is intended for a group setting and includes an instructional presentation, activities, and a retention test.

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