Coal India Sets A Benchmark For Safety In South East Asia

what is a refuge chamber - underground coal mine refuge chamber
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Safety is a core aspect of Coal India’s production process, setting a standard for coal mine safety across South East Asia.
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Safety is now more than ever a core aspect of Coal India’s production process, seeing significant improvements over recent years, and setting a high standard for coal mine safety across South East Asia. The next big step in Coal India’s increasing emphasis on safety is implementing safe refuge solutions in their emergency response plan.

Coal India Limited is an Indian state-controlled coal mining company headquartered in Kolkata, West Bengal. It is the second-largest coal-producing company globally, contributing to around 81% of coal production in India.

Coal Mine Safety Across South East Asia

In July 2015, South East Asia BDM Kane Read met with the Heads of Safety of Coal India and its subsidiaries. MineARC was asked to present the CoalSAFE Refuge Chamber to those in attendance. The reception to the CoalSAFE chamber range was incredibly positive, resulting in a unanimous response to commence the implementation of refuge chambers in all coal mines across their network.

The MineARC CoalSAFE range has been developed specifically for underground coal mining conditions; providing a long-term refuge option for personnel should evacuation prove impossible.

With a standard blast rating of 5psi upgradable to 15psi, the CoalSAFE can withstand primary and secondary explosions, extreme temperatures and flash fires. Innovative in design, it is currently the only refuge range on the market to incorporate both a powerless carbon dioxide/carbon monoxide scrubber, as well as an intrinsically safe air conditioning system.

Manufactured and tested to the highest industry regulations and guidelines, the CoalSAFE range has been approved by the West Virginian Office of Miners Health & Safety and is built to United States Mine Safety & Health Administration (MSHA) ‘Final Rule’ 2009 (30CFR §7.503).

Additional features of the CoalSAFE include; a flushing airlock, internal and external gas monitoring, and communication ports. Options are also available to allow for up to 100 hrs safe refuge.

Boosting Coal Mine Hygiene Across Asia

Coal India also showed great interest in the EnviroLAV toilet system, which is planned to be rolled out across numerous sites for a trial period. If implemented, the EnviroLAV will provide Coal India’s sites with an economical and innovative long-term solution to hygienic underground waste management.

Drawing on existing biological technologies currently used in two various forms of waste management, the EnviroLAV system utilises aerobic and anaerobic reactions to break down matter. Within the sterile, biological treatment tank, micro-aeration filters continually break down waste, aided by MineARC’s unique EnviroZYME solution.

As a result, the EnviroLAV requires emptying just once every 12 months. This organic waste management process results in decreased environmental impact, lower maintenance requirements, and a more sanitary working environment.

EnviroLAV Toilet for Coal Mining Hygiene and Safety

Coal India plays a vital role in formulating safety policies for its subsidiaries and influencing regulation and safe practice. Implementing refuge chambers within its coal mines is a huge step toward increasing mine safety within India and more widely across South East Asia. 

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