Underground » Health and Safety
There are concerns in the Coal Industries of New South Wales and Queensland about the integrity and reliability of body worn chemical oxygen self-contained self-rescuers (SCSRs), following adverse reports from South Africa and the United States on the premature deterioration of these devices once they are deployed underground.
There is also an opinion that the carbon monoxide filter self-rescuer (FSR) may still have a continuing role in the New South Wales Industry if risk assessments show that potential hazards do not challenge their performance. Finally some operators are considering compressed air systems as an alternative to cached oxygen-based systems.
ACARP believed a qualitative study was required to review any relevant and available material to enable soundly based conclusions to be drawn on whether the move to oxygen based self-rescuers is valid, and if so, the preferred SCSRs and strategies to adopt.
The study has critically scrutinised the history, current status and future directions of the deployment of self-contained self-rescuers (SCSRs) into the coal industries of South Africa and the United States and the introduction of SCSRs into the Queensland Industry. It has found the move to SCSRs in Australia is valid, and provides information on how to manage the problems associated with degradation of the chemical bed, the ingress of moisture, material fatigue and short variable duration.