Government of Canada / Gouvernement du Canada
Symbol of the Government of Canada


Coal Mining Occupational Health and Safety Regulations (SOR/90-97)

Regulations are current to 2020-03-05 and last amended on 2006-06-15. Previous Versions

PART IIIUnderground Transportation and Hoisting (continued)

Maintenance, Inspection and Tests (continued)

 No diesel engine shall be used underground unless all defects identified in an inspection, supervision or test referred to in section 103 or 104 are corrected.

Procedures for Battery Locomotives

  •  (1) Where battery locomotives are used underground, the mine manager shall prepare in writing and implement safe procedures for the installation, operation and maintenance of battery locomotives.

  • (2) The employer shall keep a copy of the procedures referred to in subsection (1) readily available for examination by employees at the coal mine in which the locomotives are used.

Battery Locomotive Standards

 Every battery locomotive shall be equipped with a methanometer that gives a visual warning to the operator of the locomotive when the concentration of methane gas reaches 1 per cent.

Charging Stations

  •  (1) Every charging station underground shall be

    • (a) equipped with an automatic fire suppression system; and

    • (b) vented directly into the return airway.

  • (2) The employer shall, at least 90 days before the construction of a charging station begins, submit to the Coal Mining Safety Commission for approval

    • (a) a plan of the coal mine showing the location of the charging station;

    • (b) a ventilation plan showing air-flow directions and quantities in respect of the charging station;

    • (c) detailed specifications for the charging equipment; and

    • (d) a general arrangement drawing of the charging station showing the location of the charging equipment and other electrical equipment.

PART IVVentilation


 Where reasonably practicable, main intake and return airways shall be separated by not less than 30 m of natural strata.

Ventilation Systems

  •  (1) All underground portions of a coal mine shall be ventilated in such a manner that

    • (a) dangerous concentrations of flammable or noxious gases are prevented;

    • (b) the concentration of respirable dust in the air does not exceed the levels referred to in section 111;

    • (c) as far as is practicable, air is not recirculated;

    • (d) the oxygen in the general body of the air exceeds 19 per cent; and

    • (e) the quantity of air circulating dilutes the concentration of carbon dioxide to less than 1.25 per cent.

  • (2) Where the concentration of flammable gas in the general body of the air in the intake airway to a working face, measured at a location not more than 100 m from that face, exceeds 0.5 per cent, the employer shall

    • (a) report that fact to a safety officer at the district office; and

    • (b) stop all activities in the section until the concentration is reduced to less than 0.5 per cent.

Levels of Respirable Dust Underground

  •  (1) For the purposes of this section and section 112, the concentration of respirable dust in the air shall be measured from respirable dust samples taken by a MRDE Cassella 113A respirable dust sampling instrument or an instrument that has been calibrated to duplicate the results of the MRDE Cassella 113A.

  • (2) The concentration of respirable dust in the air underground shall not exceed the following levels:

    • (a) in a longwall section,

      • (i) 3 mg/m3, measured at any location 70 m from the longwall face in the intake airway, and

      • (ii) 6 mg/m3, measured at any location 70 m from the longwall face in the return airway; and

    • (b) in a development roadway,

      • (i) 5 mg/m3, where the coal extracted is greater than 70 per cent of the total material extracted, measured at any location at the face of the roadway, and

      • (ii) 3 mg/m3, where the non-coal material extracted is greater than 30 per cent of the total material extracted, measured at any location at the face of the roadway.

  •  (1) A qualified person shall measure and record the concentration of respirable dust in the air at the locations referred to in subsection 111(2) at least once every month.

  • (2) The employer shall, once every month, send a copy of the records referred to in subsection (1) to a safety officer at the district office.

Ventilation Plan

  •  (1) At least 30 days before the introduction or alteration of a ventilation system underground, the employer shall submit a plan of the proposed ventilation system to the Coal Mining Safety Commission for approval.

  • (2) The plan referred to in subsection (1) shall indicate

    • (a) the location of all fans and their capacities;

    • (b) the location of all regulators, airways, stoppings, doors and ducts;

    • (c) the direction of air circulation;

    • (d) the minimum quantity of air that it is proposed to circulate through each section shown in the plan; and

    • (e) the location and type of stone-dust and water barriers.

  • (3) Subsection (1) does not apply in respect of adjustments in a ventilation system that are necessary to regulate and compensate for the normal day-to-day variations in ventilation conditions underground.

Fans — Basic Standards

  •  (1) Every main fan shall be

    • (a) equipped with devices that are capable of reversing the airflow controlled by the main fan;

    • (b) located above ground in a fan house constructed of non-flammable materials; and

    • (c) offset from all shafts or connections to the underground portions of the coal mine.

  • (2) Every fan house referred to in paragraph (1)(b) shall be provided with a pressure release door or other device that is easily opened by the force of an explosion.

  • (3) No combustible material shall be stored in a fan house referred to in paragraph (1)(b).

Safe Operating Procedures for Booster Fans

  •  (1) No booster fan shall be installed unless a ventilation survey is carried out to demonstrate the necessity for the booster fan, the expected performance range while in operation, the location of the booster fan and its effect on the remainder of the ventilation network.

  • (2) Ninety days before the installation of a booster fan, the employer shall submit to the Coal Mining Safety Commission for approval a copy of the survey referred to in subsection (1) and a plan for the operation and maintenance of the booster fan.

  • (3) Every booster fan shall be located in such a manner that, if it stops, it will not restrict the free passage of air delivered by the main fan.

  • (4) The booster fan system shall be designed so that routine inspection and maintenance may be carried out without stopping the booster fan or interfering with the provision of ventilation by the booster fan.

  • (5) The power to a booster fan shall be automatically cut off if the percentage of flammable gases in the intake air passing through the fan drive room exceeds 0.5 per cent.

  • (6) Every booster fan shall have an automatic fire suppression system to suppress fires that may occur in the fan drive room or within 15 m on either side of the booster fan.

  • (7) The employer shall provide a means to control recirculation of air through the booster fan.

Safe Operating Procedures for Fans

  •  (1) Where a main fan, booster fan or auxiliary fan stops for any reason, every person who is in an area that is affected by the stoppage shall be evacuated to a place that is ventilated in accordance with subsection 110(1).

  • (2) A qualified person shall, before any other person enters an area that has been evacuated pursuant to subsection (1), inspect the area to determine whether it is ventilated in accordance with subsection 110(1).

  • (3) Where a main fan or booster fan stops for any reason for more than 30 minutes, the mine manager shall, without delay, submit a written report of the circumstances under which it stopped to a safety officer at the district office.

  • (4) Where an auxiliary fan stops, no person shall restart the auxiliary fan unless a qualified person has

    • (a) inspected the area underground that is serviced by the auxiliary fan and has tested for flammable gases; and

    • (b) informed the person that it is safe to restart the auxiliary fan.

  • (5) The mine manager shall prepare procedures to be followed in the event of the stoppage of an auxiliary fan and shall post a copy of those procedures in a conspicuous place at the surface of the coal mine.

Date modified: