Stronger efforts needed to prepare miners for self-escape: report

Washington – Improved technology and more coordinated planning and training would help miners' ability to self-escape during a mine emergency, concludes a new report from the National Research Council.

Self-escape refers to being able to remove oneself from an underground mine in the event of an emergency. Doing so requires knowledge of the mine, equipment and technology, as well as communication and decision-making skills, according to NRC.

The report includes several recommendations. Among them:

  • Operators and federal agencies should regularly analyze information about drills and escape situations and make the lessons learned available to stakeholders.
  • NIOSH and the Mine Safety and Health Administration should accelerate efforts to develop self-escape technology.
  • Training should emphasize mastering competency standards rather than completing a certain amount of class time.
  • NIOSH should expand efforts to promote safety culture in the mining industry.

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